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September 1, 2010 / Nick

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

After what felt like an eternity of anticipation, Scott Pilgrim vs The World was released to the Great British Public last Wednesday. Rather than join the Orange Wednesday masses at some Vue somewhere, I was fortunate enough to have some tickets for the hugely sold-out Ultra Culture screening event at The ICA on The Mall. It’s not often that something interesting happening in London and me being in London and available all align at the same time, so this was an opportunity not to miss (I would recommend any future Ultra Culture Cinema events).

Megawatts of fun.

The film was more mind-blowing than I expected. Which was my only problem with it. Having not read the comics graphic novels (yes, I’m one of those. Want to make something of it comic buffs?) and watching very little beyond the trailers in order not to spoil too much, I perhaps naively walked in to the film expecting to suspend my disbelief less than I had to. It’s not entirely ‘realistic’. That’s not a problem at all but I just wasn’t expecting it, so the first 20 minutes felt a bit deranged for me. Once I had settled into it though, it was great fun (what a professional film reviewer like James King or Paul Ross would possibly describe on some TV programme’s couch as a ‘romp’). It’s especially good on the technical side with lots of stylish bursts and more watts of lighting and sound effects than Herbie: Fully Loaded and Speed Racer combined.

In typical Edgar Wright fashion it gives a nod to as many different genres as it merges together. While ‘Pilgrim’ is predominately an action-comedy it has a cute and quirky boy-meets-girl love story running throughout mixed with elements of buddy comedy and out and out scenes of musical cinema (best song of the whole film HERE). Even with the overt geeky romance theme of the film, the common criticism of Michael Cera playing to type should be safely dodged thanks to the Scott character being ballsier than his characters in Arrested Development and Superbad.

Best Evil Ex in the film.

Wright once again demonstrates his knack for making all the characters he writes for funny (something that so many comedy films wrongfully overlook) and he gives us both goodies and baddies that you’ll love to watch. In the unlikely event that you don’t like Michael Cera as Scott, nobody could fail to be amused by Kieran Culkin as the gay comic foil, Wallace.

She gets the best line in the film. (Who, her?!)

The only dubious thing about the ensemble of characters, and possibly the film itself was that there was perhaps one too many spiky, sarcastic female characters (after years of being a change from the norm of drippy, sensible female character sarcastic female is starting to become a bit of a stock character type, no?). But there are other great characters too including Evil Ex Roxy, user of the most devilish wordplay of the 2010s so far.

Amazing finale bit

As to the screening, the audience were told to sit tight when the film ended as the post-credit sequence would be great. The post-credit ‘sequence’ we were treated to was the arrival of the director himself, Mr Edgar Wright, who took some questions from the floor. Now, whenever I’m in one of these Q&A scenarios I always spend the entire time thinking of an original question to ask and then manage to conjure something up just as the time runs out (cf. Danny Wallace, Regents Street Apple Store, January 2009). If only I had been the man who asked the wonderfully succinct question “if you had to choose between Scott Pilgrim being a worldwide success but never working with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost again or working with Frost and Pegg again but Scott Pilgrim being a complete critical and commercial flop, which would it be?”. The question was met with the verbose response “neither” from Wright.

The film’s hype was ultimately the biggest obstacle for me and I felt a teeny tiny bit underwhelmed at times as I stupidly expected more out of the film before I even saw the thing. But all that pitching, plugging and publicity comes from a good place because there’s no denying that this is a fantastic movie which takes a few dares that pretty much all pay off.

Review: Nothing short of amazing.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World site
Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) on Spotify
Ultra Culture’s review/handout


One Comment

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  1. Domi Walker / Sep 15 2010 1:43 pm

    Very good, I would have to say that Evil Ex #2 was the best of the bunch though. The delivery of the text receiving Lucas Lee’s line “That is act-u-ally hil-a-ri-ous!” was too much for me. Brilliant!

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