Posted on 1/29/11 02:24 PM
I decided to wait a week before I wrote my review of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It was a movie I was really excited about, and my knee jerk reaction whilst coming out of the theatre was that it was an incredibly awesome movie and girls with pink and blue hair are really hot. But over the last week I have put a lot of thought in determining rather or not this is a great movie.
This movie is different than a lot of movies, honestly, I don't think I have ever seen a single movie that is so specifically targeted towards a particular sub-group of people. However, as someone who generally tries to rate movies with as little bias as possible, does that make this movie good, great, or bad?
For people in my demographic, this is an undeniably great movie. Its a film based off a comic series and is chock full of references to all those things that people that are "nerds" so to speak, find incredibly enjoyable. In my one and only viewing I counted over 40 direct video game and gamer culture references. Not to mention the fact that the overall style and feel of the movie is based primarily on things such as the Naruto anime and manga series. However, is that all this film was trying to accomplish? In direct comparison this film reminds me off another nerdcentric movie that came out a few years ago, Serenity. This film was an answer to some sort of conclusion for a very rabid fan base of the show Firefly. This film was targeted specifically to these fans, but nevertheless was a quality film regardless and was able to appeal to more than just the fan base. There is a difference in this two films though. Serenity was made for that fan base, and although it was a mainstream release there was not a very much marketing at all, other than the type of marketing that reached the target audience. Scott Pilgrim on the other hand had a main stream marketing campaign, although not expansive and ridiculous like a lot of summer films get. Its pretty obvious that although its a movie targeted for a particular group, it was also trying to attract a wide range of people to the theatre to see it. Did it accomplish its goal?
The reason I gave a dual ranking for this film is because since I fit into the demographic and of course loved the film to a silly level. However, as someone who really believes in giving a fair critique I fell that I have to give an unbiased rating for those that don't fit into the targeted demographic. So how good a movie was it? It was a really quality movie, a good movie, but not really a great movie. It had a few flaws that, although still quality, kept it from being a great film. I spent some time questioning people that went into the film knowing there would be references to things that they would have no chance in heck of ever getting, or understanding even a bit of it. Generally they enjoyed the film but the entirely of the film was spent with a pervasive feeling that they were missing something. That there were so MANY references, homage, easter eggs, etc, that just the shear number they missed out on was a detracting distraction to enjoying the film to its fullest. Also, I would say that this film goes on for about twenty minutes to long. Its so frenetic, random, and aleatoric even, that its kind of exhausting. Its a pretty long film, and frankly with about twenty minutes left I was thinking "you know, I would be ok if this movie would end right now." These two things generally are a relatively minor negative. Overall, its a brilliantly shot, acted, and casted film. Kieran Culkin was actually my absolute favorite as Wallace. But these two negatives brings down the rating just a little bit. So I give it a 9.5 nerd rating and a 7.8 (still a very good rating) for the unbiased.