The Correct Order To Watch Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy

Rogue Pictures

Edgar Wright’s “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy is not your standard movie trilogy. The three films aren’t sequels to each other — they don’t share characters. But they do share cast members and similar themes, particularly themes of relationships and the dangers of being trapped in perpetual adolescence. They also share ice cream. Specifically Cornetto brand ice cream, which pops up in some form in all three films. Cornetto was mentioned in the first film, “Shaun of the Dead,” as a throwaway joke — a cure for a hangover. However, when the joke resulted in Wright and co-writer/star Simon Pegg landing free Cornetto ice cream cones at the “Shaun of the Dead” wrap-party, they decided to keep the gag going. It took off, and resulted in Wright nicknaming the three films the “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy as a parody of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three Colours” trilogy. 

You might now be wondering what the “correct” order is to watch Wright’s “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy. Well, we’re here to help. 

The correct order to watch the Cornetto trilogy

Rogue Pictures

Since these films aren’t actually linked by storylines, there’s no “wrong” way to watch the trilogy. However, you’re best bet is to go in order of release. First up, start with “Shaun of the Dead.” This zombie rom-com (or “rom-zom-com,” as the marketing called it) stars co-writer Simon Pegg as Shaun, a man struggling to adapt to adult life. He’d really rather just hang out at the pub with his best friend/roommate Ed (Nick Frost). However, when the zombie apocalypse breaks out, Shaun has to learn to take command and save the people around him, including his frustrated girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield). It’s a hilarious film, and arguably the most enjoyable entry in the series. Wright and Pegg had already worked together on the UK TV series “Spaced,” but it was “Shaun of the Dead” that helped make them international starrs.

Next up we have “Hot Fuzz,” which one of our writers argued was the best entry in the trilogy. “Shaun of the Dead” is a send-up of horror movies, while “Hot Fuzz” takes on the cop movie genre. Here, Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a no-nonsense cop who annoys everyone with his by-the-book nature. This in turn gets him transferred from London to the sleepy town of Sandford, where he enters into an awkward friendship with bumbling local cop Danny Butterman (Frost). Soon, the two of them uncover a vast conspiracy, while also growing closer. “Hot Fuzz” is not quite as funny as “Shaun of the Dead,” but Wright continues to showcase his incredible directorial skills.

Finally, there’s “The World’s End,” the darkest film in the series. In this entry, Pegg is Gary King, an alcoholic who never really grew up. Still clinging to his youth, Gary gathers his old friends together for the ultimate pub crawl. Things fall apart quickly, however, due to an alien invasion and killer robots. “The World’s End” is ultimately a melancholy story of addictions and lost youth, but that might make it the best entry in the series, and maybe Wright’s best movie

Why this is the correct order to watch the Cornetto trilogy

Focus Features

Again: since this isn’t a traditional trilogy, there’s no “wrong” way to watch the films. You can really watch them in any order you prefer! However, it’s best to watch them in release order because the stories grow more complex from film to film. On top of that, “The World’s End,” as the title suggests, deals with the potential end of the word, making it best to watch last. “Shaun of the Dead” serves as a great introduction into Wright and Pegg’s comic sensibilities, “Hot Fuzz” takes things a step further, and “The World’s End” caps everything off with a story that’s darker and even more mature than “Shaun of the Dead.” And that’s the key: the stories mature from film to film, starting off ultra-silly and growing a bit more serious (although not too serious) as they go along. So watch them in order — it’s your best bet for a richer, fuller experience. 

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staff@slashfilm.com Chris Evangelista