This is the third in a kind of loose trilogy of end-of-days films made by director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It’s a trilogy without recurring characters, but Pegg and Frost end up pitted against some kind of mega threat; Sean of the Dead had zombies, Hot Fuzz had a sinister Neighbourhood Watch Alliance and this has robots. Sort of. Feauxbots. Nobots. Something like that.
Gary King (Simon Pegg) is pretty much the most annoying person in the world – a guy in his late thirties who has never been able to beat his best night ever, an incompleted pub crawl with his mates when he was eighteen. So, he gets the gang back together; Peter Page (Eddie Marsan), Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), Oliver Chamberlain (Martin Freeman) and Andy Knightley (Nick Frost). It would end up being just a pretty bad night with the lads until they discover the town’s dark secret.
There was a lot in this film to love. Simon Pegg playing the most awful character ever; a group of nearing middle-aged men attempting to beat a power they don’t understand all the time getting ever more drunk; Martin Freeman and his creepy, creepy forced smile. It didn’t quite have the awesome hilarity and impact of Sean of the Dead, but it was a lot of fun. And I kind of like all the not-too-obvious –but-at-the-same-time-not-too-hard-to-miss things for the fans – like the names and the way they relate to the characters. Or the reappearance of many favourite actors in bit parts.
I love the style of Edgar Wright. It’s fast and cool, and I just love watching it. It probably comes from an obsession with his television show Spaced, and Shaun of the Dead was the first feature he made after Spaced. There are quite a few nods to Spaced in it which I also love.
But to the film. Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a man in his late twenties who is stuck in a dead-end job in an electrical retailer, has a girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), who wants him to want more from his life, and a best mate, Ed (Nick Frost), who drinks and swears a lot. Then a zombie plague appears in London and they are running for their lives.
My favourite part of the film is the morning when Shaun and Ed realise what is going on. It’s just so clever; from Shaun’s hungover stagger to the shop for a soft drink (managing to ignore bodies on the ground, or zombies shuffling their way toward him) and Shaun and Ed discovering a girl staggering in their backyard (thinking she’s just extremely drunk) to the moment that they realise that something far more sinister is going on. And thank goodness that these are old-school shuffling zombies. I doubt it would have worked with running zombies. Plus, I would have been far too scared.
Scott Pilgrim is a 22-year-old Canadian guy who plays bass in a band called Sex Bob-omb, is dating a Chinese high school student called Knives Chau and is looking for success. Then he meets Ramona Flowers, a cool American girl. To be with her, he needs to defeat her seven evil exes and sort out his own life.
It’s awesome. It’s fast paced and quite absurd, cutting between scenes mid-sentence. The special effects are amazing – it’s got everything. Stylised violence, Bollywood dancing, and a giant electric gorilla fighting a giant electric two-headed dragon. Way cool.
Plus a fabulous cast – Michael Cera, Kieren Culkan, Jason Schwartzman and a whole head of others whose names are not familiar but who are fabulous in lots of things – like Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation.
I kind of feel that, at my age, I should be too mature for a film like this. But I never will be so Edgar Wright, keep bringing it. Please.