'Cake is a made up drug.'

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - Mini-review

(written for Sonar magazine)

Fuck, YES.

I should perhaps say a little more, this being a review and all but as I emerged from the darkness of the cinema, happy and a little dazed, these words were the first to float through my mind - glowing, pixelated and making lovely little electronic noises. The word 'epic' is thrown around a lot of late (four times in the tag-line alone) but Edgar Wright's latest offering really does deserve the self-proclaimed mantel.

Wright's career arch so far has, with the help of select members of the British comedy elite, managed to hone in on everything brilliant about pop-culture in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and exploited these tropes to create films which are at once glittering homages but also exquisitely unique, usually poignant films in their own right. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz took their respective genres and gave them and absurdly British twist, the humour was so British in fact that when I heard Mr. Wright was now working on an American film I had worried that this brilliant flavour would be lost.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, although reaching for a wider audience still retains most of the aspects of the director's previous flicks that made them work so well. The quirky camera moves (nodding firmly at Sam Raimi), the spot-on comedy timing, superb casting and above all the element that fan boys like myself loved so much about his earliest work - the TV series Spaced – a knack of tapping so accurately into a generation's worth of cultural/counter cultural references and in-jokes whilst essentially telling a heart felt story about two people.

This time taking on the comic-book film, Wright's directorial style is complemented by some of the most stunning visuals and on-screen ticks of any film I've seen (I'd like to coin the term 'eye-gasm' to describe the feeling). Whilst some of the earlier dialogue may seem a little stilted, by the time the film gets going, what grates slightly earlier on just seems to fit so well. Couple this with a blistering soundtrack full of fuzzy-bass rock n' roll and lovingly crafted electronic bleepiness and the combined acting talent on show here (Kieran Culkin is especially good) and you have a film that only the most po-faced of snobs could not like. This movie is fun in all the ways that Kick-Ass wasn't.

And apparently it's struggling to find an audience so for christ's sake put this down now and go and pay money to see it, don't just wait to thieve it later. Represent for your generation.

5/5 Golden Coins.