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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Glad I could finally watch Edgar Wright’s latest work since it sadly never got around to premiering in theatres in Brunei for some reason even though the trailers did screen here a couple months ago. Hot Fuzz and Shawn of the Dead are up there on my list of favourite movies along with V for Vendetta, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile so I figured I might as well get another one of the guy’s movies up there. Unfortunately, it’s not going up there. Can’t even say it was anywhere near the entrance but I’m quite certain it’ll make it into someone else’s list.

The movie is about this NEET in a band who goes by the name of Scott Pilgrim and has an in-movie rating of awesome. One day he sees this punk rocker-ish chick in the library and falls for her the instant he does and decides to do whatever he can to make her his girlfriend. He tries and after some pretty pathetic tries he sees some degree of success only to have one of her exs come in on one of his band’s performances with the intention of pummeling him into oblivion with his superpowers. Now getting and understanding this declaration of war, Scott now has to fight and defeat all seven evil exs of his new love interest. What follows after is a flurry awesome, flashy, loud and funny – everything a block buster should be and more.

Now let me address the strongest point of the movie – the writing. Edgar Wright is one of those sadly too few writers who’s capable of turning a convention on its head and show us a side that we would not expect and love it for that. Scott pilgrim’s script references so, so, so many different tropes and combines, inverts, subverts, averts and plays with them at such breakneck speeds that they almost flew over my head. I can’t imagine how confounding it must have been for those not equipped with the knowledge that comes with wasting time on TvTropes but I do know anyone would feel overwhelmed during this movie no matter what. The transitions between scenes does get disorientating from time to time and that does detract from the experience no matter how inventive it may be but I found the pacing to be quite well done in terms of cramming the fights and character establishing scenes.

I would say some star power from Simon Pegg probably could’ve pushed this movie right into my favourites list but that would be a lie. The actors played their parts brilliantly so I doubt his inclusion would have made much of a difference. It’s actually the romance that my most of my displeasure with the movie stems from which is an incredibly unusual thing for me to complain about. As marvelously fluid and tight the writing and directing was, the budding romance between Scott and Ramona just felt horribly forced. Love at first sight? Fine. Love makes you blind? Also fine. Going for the girl who’s still lukewarm towards you after having put you into one near death experience after another when it’s much easier to feel pity towards her rather than anything remotely close to affection while the girl who’s developed a stalker-level crush on you urges to go after her? Scott, not only did she blind you but her presence seems to have altered personalities in this movie including but not limited to your own. From a certain point of view that’s also a perfect demonstration of some brand of the Mary Sue trope which is a worth yet another kudos for Edgar Wright’s talent but I can’t say it justifies the bad romance here.

To sum things up, the film was flashy, action-packed and hilarious but all too easy to lose track of. Absolutely worth watching and I regret that I was not able to watch it on the silver screen but I just can’t bring myself to put it up as one of my favourites with my dissatisfactions towards the movie. Here’s hoping we’ll see the third of Edgar Wright’s, Simon Pegg’s and Nick Frost’s Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy sometime soon.

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