Sunday, 29 August 2010

FILM REVIEW: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World


I haven't had as much fun in the cinema for ages seeing Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. More than a comedy it was just pure entertainment - from zippy dialogue, to action sequences turned on their head. Where else are you going to see a fight scene that ends with the Vegan Police jumping out of a hole in a building hi-fiving themselves? Or with just the damn VEGAN POLICE? Trust me, this is unlike any other film you've seen before.

I don't think I need to explain the plot as there's been enough trailers around to make it fairly obvious. But I found that before the 'defeating the 7 evil exs' arc got going I was enjoying the film for what it was - Scott Pilgrim being a nerdy loser, dating a high school girl, having to sleep in a bed with his gay housemate, spending all of his time rehearsing with his band project Sex Bob-Omb (there's never any mention of a job) before having a dream about a rollerskating girl with pink hair who then turns up in reality and changes everything. I was enjoying of all of that and not a punch had been thrown. I'll go ahead right now and say I loved Knives - I thought she was amazing, and was on her side throughout most of the film. I wanted her to end up with Scott at the end, but I guess that was never going to happen. At least they cushioned the blow slightly by having her end up being 'too cool' for him anyway. Go Knives! The bit where "you hit the highlights out of her hair!" was a highlight indeed! The only likable thing about Ramona Flowers was her hair (best in blue). She was a pretty rubbish trophy to be won.

The thing I embraced most about the League of Evil Exs and the subsequent showdowns was that it gave a manageability to the film - you kept count of what stage the film what at by what ex he was fighting, and that way it didn't seem to drag. Even after the big finale with Jason Schwartzman's Gideon (not his best performance, personally) the added extra bit of MEGA SCOTT didn't hold the film back because it was ingenious - even more so by having the two get on so well they were arranging to do brunch. Again, going back to the sheer unrelenting fun nature of the film, I thought it was paced brilliantly. From the speedy neon highs of KAPOW and THWUCK battles, the slower, angsty scenes were done with a cool, original vibe as well meaning the whole thing didn't become too cute and schmaltzy when Knives gets dumped, or when Scott gets dumped later on.

Of the evil exs Chris Evans and Brandon Routh were the stand outs - the latter for the amazing Vegan Police routine, and defeat by cow milk, and then Chris Evans for his general badass awesomeness as a Steven Seagal of the fictional world. If you didn't manage to catch the posters to some of Lucas Lee's finest cinematic moments, then look here. "YOU JUST DON'T EXIST" is my favourite! It was nice touch to see George Michael Vs Ann as well - I wanted Jason Bateman to appear in the bar where Scott and Roxy fight just to pipe up with, "Ann? Really?" Hee.

Some things felt slightly overdone - the on-screen graphics for one, which would have been better represented if they had become embedded in the film, not just popping up once for a quick giggle. Some were excellent though, like the spinning arrows ("I have to go pee on her!"). The mirroring a computer game graphics/plot was also brilliantly conceived, although I better steer my credit to the graphic novels for that and not Mr Edgar Wright. Where the hell was Simon Pegg anyway? He must have been lurking in the background somewhere...

Michael Cera was tuned up to the max in his usual pathetic-awkward role - it's hard to imagine anyone else playing it really (OK, maybe Jesse Eisenberg). Kieran Culkin was the perfect sidekick as Scott's best gayfriend, delivering his lines always with a wry tilt. He's definitely the breadwinner of the Culkins. I thought Anna Kendrick was severely under-used though - but that's probably just because I love Anna Kendrick. Sigh.

I'm knocking half a cheese off because even though it's reached cult status already, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is a bit too cool for its own good, and will have throngs and throngs of people leaving cinema screens declaring it as their new favourite film ever, so it doesn't really need me doing the same. But it's still one of the most fantastic and funny films I've seen all year, and despite the backlash it's been getting in some circles, whatever you do go and see it. But not on an Orange Wednesday as chances are you won't end up sitting with who you came with!



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