Film Commentary

Box Office Blues for Scott Pilgrim

August 23, 2010

Adam Quigley’s insightful theories on why indie-lean Scott Pilgrim is getting his hipster geek-chic ass kicked by Rambo:

It’s possible that this is a result, however subconscious, of a contrasting appreciation for the way the films choose to define its men, with the reverence for the long-lost form of the burly ’80s action hero speaking more to people than the modern promotion of the geek hero. In this way, The Expendables and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World are on opposite sides of a cultural rift. Scott is a character whose manhood is not impugned by his scrawniness, awkwardness or geekiness, making him the sort of “badass” hero that could only exist in a post-Internet world. The characters in The Expendables, meanwhile, can essentially be seen as a plea to return to the male image as it was once celebrated, when masculinity was defined by muscles, scars, motorcycles, booze, tattoos and mindless acts of violence.

If this is indeed the case, the takeaway here is simple: The men of today are gay; long live the six packs and mullets of yesterday.

Sigh.

Latent Reaganomics perhaps?

Simply put, a majority of thirty-to-forty somethings still spend their recreational cash-or-credit on stuff that celebrates this:

Me have big gun good to blow up stuff big explosion so tasty let's eat at McDonald's afterwards then play Duke Nukem then have sex.

Instead of obvious and culturally relevant cult-classics-to-be like this:

Don’t get me wrong, as a 31-year-old, I still adore the famous old actioners of 80s/90s yore, and all the lumpy superstar heroes that evaded impossible explosions in slow motion while suspended in midair; but another part of me would like to ask all you fellas to put your G.I. Joe figurines away for just a little while, and embrace a new and smarter era with your wallet to support director Edgar Wright — if only because he’s brilliant.

Trust me, you’ll have as good a time as the critics are.

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