What does Gary King become in the end? Is he happy now that he has found a purpose in life? Or is he simply content to repeat the Golden Mile crawl once again, this time with blanks? Why choose the kid blanks to team up with?
The Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End) has arrested development for main theme.
And The World's End is the most blatant example of it. At the end of the movie it is clear that Gary is a new man:
his idealized adolescence's visions have been beheaded (literally)
the place of his past glory has been destroyed (literally)
Gary King (of humans) has found a new sense of self worth by defeating the network
he doesn't rely on childish notions of manhood and self affirmation (alcohol is not needed to be a man, as he orders water)
So it is safe to say that the days obsessed with self indulgent nostalgia are over.
Why choose the kid blanks to team up with?
I am not sure that "why" is the right question to ask.
The ending makes sense/is satisfying because :
it ties nicely with the end of Shaun of the Dead where Shaun chose to hang with the villains of the movie (his zombified roomate)
it ties nicely with the whole premise of the movie (the Golden Mile) but now with a twist (well, two : the blanks and the water) to show the character growth.
it opens on a movie genre that the Cornetto trilogy hasn't touched : western (after zombie, cops and aliens movies). Edit Or, as Nobby points out, Mad Max post-apocalyptic film.
Gary graduated from obnoxious teenager to a man of honor. Instead of using his friends as mere means to have a second go at the Golden Mile, he now takes charge and fight for his mates (the Blanks that got bullied by the bar patrons).
Another excellent answer. That said, has he really graduated? He's basically modelled himself on a swashbuckling Western hero, has a gang that he protects, and goes into a bar to pick a fight. That's certainly very adult :P Sep 24, 2013 at 13:36
1I would argue that it is more like a Mad Max post-apocalyptic film now, but then again that could be called a Western too :) I think he picked the blanks because they reminded him of his old group, and as for 'graduating', you'll note that he orders water when he goes into the bar - as Andy noted earlier (I'm paraphrasing here) 'it takes a real man to order water in a bar full of thugs'.– NobbySep 24, 2013 at 14:10
@Nobby But he's still simply playing around, isn't he? So how has he graduated? Good point re: foreshadowing in Andy's dialogue. Sep 26, 2013 at 13:02
I said graduated because that is what it feels like. At first, Gary found demeaning for a man the very idea to order water. At the end, he couldn't care less. He really became "a man" and thus is not defined by his alcohol consumption. Sep 26, 2013 at 13:12
1It's like Andy says in his final monologue: "Real happiness, real friends—those are the things worth living for, worth fighting for." Gary hasn't matured in the sense of becoming anywhere close to normal, but we know he has matured because he fights for his friends (the blanks) rather than trying to recapture glory days in a bottle.– zpletanMar 28, 2015 at 16:22
Another perspective is from A. D. Jameson, especially his point 17:
Gary King doesn’t want to play by the modern’s world’s rules. But at the same time, he isn’t just playing by his own. He abides by a code: the code of companionship, of loyalty. His morality is arguably a medieval concept: the group identity of the band. Without his fellows, he’s lost—the archetypal melancholy wanderer of Anglo-Saxon poetry. But once everyone’s been reassembled—”Even Andy?” “Of course Andy!”—then King has a purpose, as does everyone else.
Gary needs a 'band' to have purpose, so he assembles one using the blanks.