Graham J’s review published on Letterboxd:
For the love of Scott! - why don’t I adore this film?
Can a movie be too energetic?
I had to watch it again at a friends house New Years Eve due to it being a favourite of theirs. My wife is also a huge fan. It was 4 Vs 1 so…
...this is my 4th time watching and I thought ‘this is it GJ, I’m pleasently drunk, I’m in good company, it’ll make perfect sense this time I promise’.
To reiterate - I was ready to party with the Pilgrim...
…and It happened again (head in hands) for the 4th goddamn time. I just can’t get INSIDE this film!. Every element seems built to my liking. I love Edgar Wright, I love guitars, dirty music, plump bass lines, exploding amps, dry wit, Michael Cera, stupid hair, cool T-shirts, 8-bit videogames, choreographed fistfights, pee bars, etc, etc, etcetera.
So what is wrong with me?
As I put earlier, I find the whole experience to be too frenzied. Now I’m no slouch when it comes to levels of energy; my anxiety can get me whipping up a storm - but there’s a zip, zap, a bip and a bop on every second of every scene. It’s a repeated slap to my already flushed cheeks and by a hand sticky with sweets. It makes my head spin and by the time fight number one limbers up, I’m already ‘uninvolved’. My eyes glazed over, face covered in Skittle goo.
If I could compartmentalize it, I could get off I suppose, on Wright’s visual style but I need more than that. We need more than that don’t we? Apparently not, but I care not one jot about the story or the people who carry it - as ridiculous and as cool as they may be. It would be better actually, if the rat-a-tat gags-a-minute worked, or even if most worked and few didn't, but a lot of the jokes fall awkwardly flat with me. Rehearsed to the point of being stale.
So Graham J Vs Scott Pilgrim Vs the World….…it has a great soundtrack! (Plumtree & Broken Social Scene are ace) but it’s a relationship with a film that’s unfortunately not meant to be.
The 5th time won’t be anytime soon.