Thursday, 2 September 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Perhaps another title should be Edgar Wright Vs Hollywood ... and wins.

I've never been that much of a fan of Edgar Wright. There I've said it. I didn't really like Shaun Of The Dead or Hot Fuzz - I just didn't think they were that funny. After seeing the trailer for this film, I thought I'd enter with an open mind and see if this was more than a Kick-Ass wannabe.

The story, based on a bunch of comics, is about Scott's obsession with the local New York cool girl Ramona. Problem is, he already has a young girlfriend called Knives, he lives with his gay room-mate Wallace and the only work he does is with his band Sex Bomb-omb and he's not exactly the coolest kid around. However, once he starts falling for Ramona, he has to start fighting her evil ex's so that he can go out with her and that's basically it.

So is it any good? Yes. Very much so yes. Edgar Wright has made this film completely his own; the style is fantastic, it's all short, sharp and punctuated by words on-screen that makes it feel like you are reading a comic book. The effect makes it a hyper-real adventure for real geeks (not fake geek chics) whether it's nods to Final Fantasy or Seinfeld or Sonic the Hedgehog, it's full of sub-pop-culture references that still work in the context of the film that the people who don't understand the homages will still enjoy. It's fast-paced, uncompromising and just dives straight in. It knows exactly what it is and doesn't try to be something it's not. It just works perfectly.

The fight scenes look great, the acting is fun to watch, the script works, the humour is genuinely funny and it's just fucking cool. Saying that, Michael Cera should make this his final geek part as his Scott Pilgrim is the perfect ultimate role for him, it will be time for him to move on to something else now but unfortunately I doubt he will break his geeky mould. Kieran Culkin plays the gay, young layabout perfectly with enough self-knowing and humility to make him almost steal the show in some parts. Mary Winstead looks quite ugly for someone who is actually really hot but she hits her 'too cool for school' character right on the head, however her nemesis Knives is actually the more interesting character played by impressive newcomer Ellen Wong. The ex's, led by Jason Schwartzman, are also equally threatening and entertaining, each one of them relishing in their 'don't-take-myself-seriously' roles - Chris Evans and Brandon Routh being the stand-outs. Even a brief cameo by Thomas Jane and Clifton Collin is short yet funny and even Anna Kendrick is bearable (she's not in it that much).

The style might be amazing with bright, colourful visuals but it's definitely not for kids. I'm not even sure if it's for teenagers. It seems to be aimed at male twenty-somethings like myself but accessible for all audiences, so I might be somewhat biased, but it works perfectly. It's also the first time, probably ever, where a band that is in the context of the film is actually good. The music the Sex Bomb-ombs play I would go out and listen to, it makes a change from shitty indie-teenie-bopper-pleasing bands they usually stick up on stage that would be better suited with the Jonas Brothers in Rock Camp. The Sex Bomb-ombs actually rock and so does the other bands they show within the film - it's worth watching just for that.

I loved this a lot more than films like Kick-Ass, mainly because I felt Kick-Ass had a few flaws and felt a bit more like Spiderman for geekier geeks. This is much different and doesn't hold back, it pushes the idea of a film into a much more Warhol-esque sense of self-referencing that has the balls to try something a bit different and not be up it's own arse. Every minute had a classic moment and I think a lot of brave risks were taken in this film, and thank God they all paid off. It might be too fast for some people, it might be too geeky for others, it might just be a bit too stupid and silly for the rest of the audience, but I sure as hell liked it and it's the most fun I've seen on a cinema screen for a while.

Rating: 9/10

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with your review! I found your blog from - your article Devil - commented on that too. I have to disagree with the target audience as I am a twenty something female who absolutely loved this game, or maybe I am a bit too nerdy for my own good ha!
    And thanks for giving me the name of the band, I thought they were amazing and really wanted to download it, now my mission is to find out if they exist!
    I will be following your blog, really like your voice :)
    If you want can you check mine out please at :