Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Wanna See That!: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

In this Thursday fixture, I Wanna See That!, I take a look at specific trailers that are both well crafted and have some kind of importance to them beyond just informing you a film is coming soon. This week, I take a look at the trailer for one the great film Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and it's not so great trailer. 

Movie trailers serve a wide variety of purposes, but for many, they seem to take on the characteristics of shady car dealer when it comes to their specific purpose. Just like those folks selling clunky automobiles, they know they have a risky item to sell, but they have to not only get it sold, but also make sure it's as appealing to as many people as possible. Sometimes this applies to films even studios know are duds (R.I.P.D. is a good example of this), but sometimes it applies to a movie like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World that is obviously gonna be harder to sell than other movies.

Not that the movies bad, goodness no. One day I'll write a formal review of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, including how the circumstances of me seeing it are truly extraordinary, but let me just say as a film it's a masterpiece, a movie that has an insane amount of inventiveness in every aspect of filmmaking you can think of. However, I do sympathize with the Universal Studios marketers with this one, solely because Scott Pilgrim doesn't exactly suit itself to a 15-second ad one can air during a rerun of Seinfeld on a Wednesday night. It's world is a complex one, but it's also one that is easy to grasp within the the riveting story the characters are a part of.

At least they don't try to pull a full-on Drive here and sell the movie as something other than what is. The video game influence, Michael Cera as the lead, the snowy environment, it's all in there. However, notice I said that Universal doesn't pull a full-on Drive, since they still manage to make the film look super duper generic in order to make it more "palatable". You'd think they'd realize a good piece of cinema is the most palatable thing on the planet, but I suppose not. Boiled down to this particular two and a half minute montage, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World loses its uniqueness in many areas, but most of all in showing off the films romantic moments. While they're realistic and powerfully resonant in the movie, they just look like typical "Cera-gets-the-gal" scenarios, and not the more involving sequences they truly are.

Even more tragic to lose in the trailer is the films personality that lets absurdity and banality work together in perfect harmony. Vegan powers are no more surprising than the rising sun in this wonderfully bizarre land, and the trailer just fails at getting that across. Would the film have turned into an Avatar success at the box office if it had conveyed that personality? Maybe not. But at least it could have told audiences that there's so, so much more to this excellent movie than can be properly told in a trailer. But I'm not sure a shady cars salesman would say the automobile equivalent to his customers, and so similarly, the trailers Universal put out for this movie fail to drum up a trailer worthy of a movie as wonderful as Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.

No comments:

Post a Comment