Thursday, 9 September 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Lord, I wanted to like this movie. The trailer looked good, I like Edgar Wright as a director, the trailer looked good....

And it's not a bad movie (though as is often the case I started to have misgivings when I saw the trailers showing with it - if a cinema chain shows a bunch of completely unrelated trailers for non blockbusters it's a sign they don't know what kind of audience they're expecting...) it's just that it somehow wasn't what I hoped it would be from looking at the trailers.

My problem was Michael Cera, who has been making a great living playing a wet noodle for the last couple of years. This is all very well and good, but it left me feeling moderately concussed as I tried to work out just what Ramona Flowers was supposed to see in the guy. He's not that bright, not that good looking, and he's completely incoherent. Even given that Ramona has a track record in choosing people so bad that she actually has seven (not eleven!) evil exes for Scott to battle, it was really kind of hard to see what she saw in Scott Pilgrim. Of course, there are people - lots of them - who don't see what my wife sees in me, so there is the whole girls just pick people for no known reason conundrum, but there's got to be some sense of connection for me to believe even in that.

It's a shame, because it's a funny script and a good looking movie and everyone else involved is good fun. Scott's bandmates are more interesting and funny than he is (but then, I've made spaghetti that was more interesting than Scott is), his gay flatmate is consistently hilarious, Ramona's a poem to deadpan snark; pick anyone at random around Scott and they probably have a better set of lines and seem more interesting than he is. There's a lot of really good wisecracks, the most meta of which is one of the characters asking "What, do they make movies in Toronto?" Yes, a little, and it echoed across to the way I'd been wondering since the beginning how many actual Canadians they'd used in the production, though I wasn't curious enough to bother checking. Standout oneliner goes to Kim, who justifies a trip to a party they all know they're going to hate by saying "At least we'll have something to complain about." Which ought to be more or less the official state motto of Ireland, and it's nice to see it getting a shout out elsewhere.

It's a shame is what it is. I was looking forward to Scott Pilgrim and it didn't really work out the way I wanted it to. And I wanted to see more Ramona Flowers hammer action than we got, which I accept is immensely dumb of me, but there's something about the idea of a comparatively small woman pulling a hammer twice her size out of hammer space in her hand bag and laying into the scenery with it.....

Anyhow, Wright deserves some credit for wrapping up the whole thing in the space of a single movie and pretty much obviating any need to discuss sequels. But my favourite adaptation from a comic book this year remains Kick Ass, especially with the cheering news that they're making a sequel.

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