...Back. I held off part two until I finished my review of The Expendables
so I could release them together. As strange as it sounds, my reviews of Scott Pilgrim vs The World
and The Expendables
are more intertwined than I ever thought possible. So, get ready. Here we go.
Delphiki Reviews: Scott Pilgrim vs The World
In an nutshell: Michael Cera
is Scott Pilgrim, a young Canadian, uh, guy who meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead
, who is hot as hell by the way.) In order to continue dating Ramona, Scott needs to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends who have joined forces to make sure Scott stays away from her forever.
Thoughts: Have you ever seen a video game movie or a comic book movie and thought "this idiot director just doesn't get it. I wish a fan would direct this."? This movie is a perfect example of what a director who is intimately in touch with the material can create. Edgar Wright went through what can't be called anything but a freakin' juggling act to make a movie that will not only appease the fans of the comic (for the most part), but also attract most of the geek crowd and maybe even some of the mainstream audience.
The plot is incredibly simple (if barely existent) but it makes for a strong enough frame to be transported directly into a comic book world -- a world filled with onomatopoeias and people who can do incredible things and who turn into coins instead of dying(?). It's totally insane and it totally works. You may question everything at the beginning, but the first few scenes do a great job at easing you into this world before it goes totally insane.
This movie is filled with characters, something that would usually be detrimental to a movie but in this case it's one of the highlights. The cast of this movie is immense (with a couple of cameos that blew my mind), Ellen Wong who played Knives Chau, ended up stealing the show as one of the funniest characters I've seen in a long time. All of these characters are all written so well that you will find your friends all having different favorites (I was actually with a girl that looked and acted like Kim so that was mine by default.)
There are going to be people who have a different character they just love (besides Knives Chau, of course)
What about the action you ask? The action in this movie is both inventive and bad-ass. Extremely exaggerated and high paced, the movie borrows heavily from fighting games (a friend of mine sitting next to me kept yelling "That's from Tekken! That's from Tekken!") even going as far as having the little "VS" in between characters. The first fight comes completely out of nowhere, with every character having a huge "wtf?" plastered on their faces. Again, this helps everyone at the theater to ease into this aspect of the movie. After the first fight everyone burst into cheers once they saw the "VS" appear between the characters. The fights by themselves are enough reason to go watch this movie over and over again.
The movie also doubles as a parody of video games and anime (I saw some nods to Dragon Ball and Naruto in there) and needless to say, certain movies should really take a page from this movie and see how references should be used. They were constantly present but never obnoxious -- they weren't jokes, but instead they enhanced the jokes. Unfortunately I felt that there were a few parts where the video game-y aspects didn't work, namely a sequence with a door. I know what they were referencing and what it was symbolizing i just didn't think it worked as well as the rest of the things.
So the movie isn't perfect then? Like I said, the story isn't all there. It makes for hilarious situations and its good enough. I just wished there was more to it. I don't know how exactly they could've improved the story, but I just wish they would have. Then there is Michael Cera. I know, I know. This is the best he's ever been but he is still playing Michael Cera. There were parts of the movie where Scott Pilgrim delivered one liners that are written wonderfully, but weren't delivered well by Cera. I would have wished someone more energetic would have played Scott Pilgrim. Still, it was great to see Michael Cera get the stuffing beat out of him.
Incredibly imaginative and with a unique style, Scott Pilgrim vs The World is a very funny movie, with well written characters and action scenes that are going to be hard to top. It suffers from a flimsy plot, but you will find yourself so immersed in this stylish world that you will forgive it.
A hipster movie poking fun at the hipster sub-culture. And damn if this isn't my favorite this summer. Excuse me while I go watch this movie again.
Now, the Yin to my Yang.
Delphiki Reviews: The Expendables
In a nutshell: Staring every freaking action hero you can think of, The Expendables are a group of mercenaries that are given the task to overthrow the tyrannical ruler of Vilena Island, General Garza (David Zayas.) Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), the leader of the expendables has also taken upon himself to save a young local rebel in an attempt to save his own soul.
Thoughts: One word: disappointing. I suppose it's my fault for being one of those guys that was excited for this movie. It isn't all bad I suppose. The beginning of the movie was what I came there to see -- this group of bad-asses picking a band of miscreants apart with their bad-ass-ness. Still, in that scene I began to see the problems that were going to ruin the movie for me; it was too dark, the action was frantic and shot badly. I mean, what's the point of having people like Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren fight against each other if you can't tell what the hell is going on? To make matters worse all the main action set pieces happen at night.
The plot isn't all there either. There were several instances where I was asking my self what was going on. It's either the sketchy writing here or the fact that between Stallone's mumbling and Jet Li's accent it was hard to keep up. But hey, it's a dumb action movie, right? Still, it's just jarring to have come out of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, a movie where not once did I question what was going on, and go into this movie and be completely lost for a good ten minutes. Wasn't Bruce Willis' character suppose to come back with his own group of bad-asses if the other team didn't deliver? Oh, whatever.
Yes, I suppose I am ranting, but it doesn't make the points I am bringing up any less true. The film had a lot of characters, but where Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World managed to give each character so much personality through their dialogue, this movie barely manages to avoid making the two protagonists into cardboard cutouts. In the five minutes Mickey Rourke's character is on screen we see more personality than with all of the expendables combined. Oh that's right, you won't get to see much of anyone on the posters. I guess you see them in the end, but again the lighting and bad camera work ruins a lot the scenes.
The best scene of the movie starred these three.
Too bad that if you seen the numerous TV posts then you've seen the scene in its entirety.The most unfortunate thing while watching The Expendables is the squandering of potential. You'll get excited as you get what you came there to see on the first five minutes, but soon you realize that the action is bland, the story isn't present at times, and all those bad-asses in the movie are wasted. Above all, the movie feels like it is a wish fulfillment movie not for the audience but rather for director and protagonist Sylvester Stallone, who wanted to play action hero again.
I wouldn't blame you iff you are still planning to watch this movie just because of nostalgia alone. I just recommend you not watch this alongside Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. It will only make you wish that The Expendables would have at least made an effort.
Sigh, I'm going to go watch Rambo now.