Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Never Go Anywhere Without My Stunt Team: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Ok, I know I promised this on Saturday and it's Wednesday, but I've honestly had a really hard time putting into words exactly how I feel about this film. In short, I love it. Of course, I'd like to articulate more than that, and that's what I was having problems with.

The movie is all at once about being in your twenties, videogames, being in love, indie rock, fighting for what you believe in and growing up. Yeah, that's a lot of stuff. It's also a slapstick comedy, so that's cool, too. It's really ambitious, and while some fans of the books will gripe that there's missing stuff, that's the reality of adapation. Deal with it. You don't expect the next Batman movie to have every Batman villian, secondary character, and minor story arc ever to be in it, do you? No.

On the flip side, there are some people not familiar with the book who say the movie is too ADD, too wrought with videogame references, too blah, blah, blah. These people are sort of sadly out of touch. This work does not pivot on it's videogame references. I went with at least one person who's not exactly the most videogame savvy out there, and she loved it.

Ultimately, the movie worked for me on every level. As a fan of the original, as an indie rocker, as someone who's had to deal with their significant other's past, as a gamer, and on and on. It is, to me, a charming and hilarious story that has a lot of nice cultural references (much more than gaming). Edgar Wright is in top form as a director, having found a great cast (Kieran Culkin as Wallace was my favorite), he makes this story work.

The box office is a thing that's been coming up. In case you didn't know, the movie came in fifth at the box office it's opening weekend, finishing behind Inception, which has been out for over a month. Really, I'm not sure why anyone cares where it finishes. I don't really care if Universal makes their money back, Bryan Lee O'Malley and Edgar Wright have already been paid, and will do other projects. The only thing I kind of understand is someone said they thought it would make it difficult for other films in this vein to get made again. I can see that, but they'll pop up. They always do.

Which brings me to the legacy I think this movie will leave. I know we're only in the first week of release, but I think I've already got it pegged. This is a lifestyle movie. Pardon the cliche, but it's a generational touchstone. I'm sure there are people in their forties who loved it (in fact, I know at least one), and I'm sure people who are in kindergarten now will discover it in their teens or twenties, but really, this is our movie. Just like Fast Times at Ridgemont High was one of my dad's movies. I also love the movie, but I don't watch it with the same eyes he does. I can't, he lived through that time, I didn't.

It'll find its life on DVD and at midnight showings, like all the weirdness that's come before it. Like the Donnie Darkos and the Surf Nazis Must Dies, it'll be there. It'll be well liked and spoke of with fondness by its fans. And that's more than Eat Pray Love will get, I'm sure of that.

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