Over the weekend, I watched The World's End again, and I have a theory I'd like to run by anyone who's already seen the movie. After this video, everything is spoiler-y:
The thing about The World's End is that it rewards re-watching. Every one of the pubs has its number on the Golden Mile secreted away into the set somewhere, which is fun. Some of the jokes are telegraphed way in advance, and Oliver's birthmark is very discretely revealed way earlier than you may originally have noticed. There are Easter eggs hidden throughout.
But I was wondering about one thing in particular after rewatching the film, and I'm not sure there's evidence to back me up or not. So follow me through some leaps, here: Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the movie, used to drink but doesn't drink anymore. He's also an atheist. The movie itself is about quitting drinking. There are twelve pubs. The most commonly known way of quitting addiction is to follow a twelve-step program. The 12-step program is thick with religious context. For example:
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
The movie ends with Simon Pegg arguing against a giant beam of light that claims to know exactly what humanity should do. Pegg argues against order and rules in favor of messy humanity, at which point, on the 12th step, the sentient beam of light disappears entirely. My question is this: Could it be that The World's End is a thinly disguised argument against the inclusion of religion in recovery culture? That's definitely the feeling I got from watching the movie a second time. Is this incredibly obvious? Did everyone already make this assumption but me?