Ok, two movie reviews for the price of one… or something. Spoilers everywhere (where I think relevant) and these are just my thoughts… so if you don’t want to be spoilt on either Inception or Scott Pilgrim vs The World, go and enjoy my Flickr photos (shameless plug).
I think I’ll just divide this review into the good things and the negative things about this movie, then I might remember my thoughts for wrapping it all up. I meant to write this review some time ago, but got distracted with a holiday to Alice Springs, so here goes:
- The first movie with some original concepts that I have seen in AGES. It was quite refreshing to think my way around a new universe.
- The special effects were STUNNING. This movie could sell itself on those alone, and I do know that quite a few people went and saw it at the cinema for that alone.
- The story twisted and turned and the ending was unclear. A lack of guaranteed happy ending with a big “BUT?!?!?!” added to an already great experience.
- Not all the characters were white. This was fantastic. The “good guys” were from all over the world and the “bad guys” were generally all white. Two white American males, one Subcontinental male, one East Asian male, one British male, and one white American female made up the “good guys”.
- There was only one female in the team. There was no reason why there could not have been more.
- The movie failed the Bechdel Test
- The female characters were reflections of the hero’s story, with Leonardo’s character’s wife being a subconscious projection (she no longer existed as an individual) and Ellen Page’s character being the helpful assistant to Leonardo’s character to help him get on with life.
Coherent wrapping up type thoughts have failed to materialise, so I will move onto the next movie.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
I’ll go with a narrative style here. Be warned, there are spoilers.
So, I know quite a few women who are not interested in seeing yet another movie about a boy having to fight something/someone to win the girl as a prize/rescue the girl. Oddly enough, although the boy does fight the evil exes, this is not a movie about a boy having to fight to win the girl as a prize/rescue the girl. The actual ending (hence the spoiler warning) is about fighting, not for the girl, but for yourself and gaining self respect. It also focused on Scott learning to like himself and realise that he is a great guy without having others tell him that – which at the beginning of the movie was really annoying.
The movie does pass the Bechdel Test, though narrowly. There are named female characters who have (albeit brief) conversations about topics other than a man. Given the movie was about a man, this pass is actually unexpected – though apparently the comic, which I haven’t read, passes the Bechdel test beautifully.
The pop-culture references are fun and overall the movie is very silly. The sound-track is awesome and the filming beautiful.
The gay house-mate/bed-mate of Scott is sweet and funny, and the less creepy Culkin (Keiran) played the role perfectly. As a character his queerness was not an issue, he was gay and that was perfectly normal, as was the main (and presumably straight) character sleeping in the same bed as him. The fact that he had multiple partners during the movie could be viewed as problematic (all gay men are sluts!) but it wasn’t played in a negative way. After all there are plenty of straight men portrayed in movies with multiple partners and that is rarely negative (women doing the same thing is a completely different story).
Although Scott fought a female evil ex, and that ex referred to Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character as a “hasbian”, the ex being a lesbian was again just a thing. She was no more evil or anything than the other exes.
So yes, I enjoyed the movie more than I expected to. And now it is time for bed.