Everyone has a plan for transitioning from on year to another. Some of you go party into the night and shout into the sky “Happy New Year” while some of you spend a calm dinner with your loved ones, watching the innumerable fireworks light up the sky. I take a different route. I sit down exactly 1 hour and 40 minutes before midnight and watch At World’s End, every year since 2013. Finally, I think I can move on. Edgar Wright is back with a bang with Baby Driver. To honour his return, I decided to sit down with all 4 movies and prepare my body for his next movie. I know there is a 5th movie that he made in 1994. I have tried to search for it, but failed. So if anyone who is reading this has a copy,then please be kind enough to send me one. If you do so I’ll tattoo your name on my forearm. Just kidding.
In case you have missed the trailer for Baby Driver, here it is:
There have been many trilogies over the years. Some are revered as the best trilogies across the galaxy, while some have failed due to continuity errors. According to me, The Cornetto Trilogy should be considered among the bests because it doesn’t follow the regular norms of a trilogy. Read the name! It is a trilogy because the only returning character in all of these movies is an ice-cream and that’s what makes it awesome!
Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy
Shaun Of The Dead
The first in the trilogy is Shaun Of The Dead. The movie is about a regular guy called Shaun(Simon Pegg) who works in an electronic store and lives along with his friend, Ed(Nick Frost). He is the laziest and most forgetful person in the town and that’s why he always forgets to do anything for his girlfriend, Liz(Kate Ashfield) and they always end up spending time in the Winchester. After getting dumped, Shaun and Ed decides to party hard and ends up getting into a row with their land-lord, Pete who appears to be sick after getting mugged and being bitten by a man. They wake up the next day to find that a epidemic has struck worldwide and is turning everyone to zombies. From there begins Shaun and Ed’s journey to reach the Winchester and wait till this epidemic blows over.
Edgar Wright begins his parody of zombie films from the film’s title itself, which is clearly poking at Zack Snyder’s overly stylised zombie movie, Dawn of the Dead. Wright and Pegg maintains a very zippy and comedic flair through the dialogue and action set-pieces. It’s just not great as a comedy movie but it excels as a zombie movie too because Wright mixes practical effects with CGI to give some amazing zombie crunching action and body dismemberment scenes. Wright also uses a ton of jump-scares to make fun of horror movies that over-use it to no considerable effect and even slips in a few good ones among them to show how jump-scares can actually be effective. The performances are very genuine and as the actors were clearly prepared to do their own action sequences, they manage to put their very own touch to it. This is the 1st time Wright introduces us to the dramatisation of mundane routines via close-ups and dramatic music.
The second in the trilogy is Hot Fuzz. This movie revolves around Police Commissioner Nicholas Angel(Simon Pegg) who is an ace police-officer and who is great at his job but not so great at life itself. Like Shaun, Nicholas also has broken up with Janine(it was Cate Blanchett, surprise!) and as his awesomeness is disgracing everybody else, he is sent away to the small village of Sanford to serve as Sergeant. He arrives there, thinking that his urge to fight crime will die in this dead town but after spending a few days in Sanford, Nicholas understands that boredom is the last of his concerns.
With this movie Edgar Wright simultaneously pays homage to cheesy, buddy-cop, action movies while also poking fun at them by escalating the absurdity of the situation. Just in case somebody who is reading this hasn’t watched the movie, I am not going to spoil the twist for you. Just like Shaun of the Dead, Wright mixes physical comedy with conversational humour. The movie is also a funny take on the Scream-esque slasher movies and has lots of gore and blood-spilling. So if you don’t have a strong stomach, I suggest you to proceed with caution. Even though Nicholas Angel is the star of the story, Nick Frost’s Danny Butterman absolutely steals the show.
The World’s End
The final instalment in this amazing trilogy follows a group of friends who got separated after high-school only to be re-united by the most notorious of the lot, Gary King(Simon Pegg). Gary King, who is a drunkard wants to have another go at their incomplete expedition of the Golden Mile. If you’re curious as to what is the Golden Mile, don’t be. Golden Mile is the process of going through 12 Pubs which means 12 pints of bear and ending with the last (appropriately named) pub, The World’s End. After a series of lies, Gary finally convinces all his friends, who now have settled in their respective spheres, to return to Newton Haven and as they begin their journey from one bar to another, they begin to find out that something sinister has taken over the town. It gets even funnier as the movie progresses because the characters keep getting more and more drunk.
I think this movie has the most action-packed sequences out of the three movies. On top of that, the actors looked like they were in top physical form due to which they performed most of their sequences themselves, making the movie feel all the more exciting to watch. Wright managed to pull off a very emotional story regarding King which got me a bit teary-eyed, to be honest. The best comedic bits come from the lost-in-translation conversations between King and his friends.
Like I said, in the beginning, I consider this one of the best trilogies because it doesn’t follow the norms of the trilogy. The trilogy serves as a testament to Pegg and Wright’s friendship and the overall notion of friendship as well. On a casting basis, they always bring in the same actors who were there in the first movie for smaller or bigger roles. Apart from the absurd sequences and laugh-out-loud moments, Wright and Pegg manage to create some of the most memorable characters in movie history with very significant character arcs. Wright also takes the most mundane of actions and makes it look so dramatic and fun that even you will feel like doing all your daily actions in the same way. I also love the grounded and focused setting of each of these stories. Even if the actions have a global effect, Wright manages to keep the story between his characters. The trilogy doesn’t only excel from a writing point of view, but also in terms of cinematography, camera-work, stunts and overall film-making. I didn’t even know what whip-pans were until I saw Shaun of The Dead. After seeing the action set-pieces and practical effects in the movies, you cannot stop yourself from lauding Wright’s love for movies. I’d highly recommend you to watch this trilogy in one go because, trust me, it’ll feel as refreshing as eating a Cornetto.
Scott Pilgrim V/S The World
Based on Brian Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series, Scott Pilgrim v/s the World is a story about a lonely and awkward boy, Scott Pilgrim(Michale Cera) who lives with his gay roommate, Wallace(Kieran Culkin). Scott is associated with a band, The Sex Bob-Ombs and also dates a 17 year old girl called Knives(Ellen Wong). One fine day he falls in love with Ramona, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead(who wouldn’t!?) and finds himself in a very dangerous situation. Now, he has to defeat Ramona’s seven evil exes in order to take over the mantle of Ramona’s boyfriend.
Apart from the simplistic story-line and great performances, the movie created the bench-mark for masterful editing and clever use of minimalistic graphics. Edgar Wright managed to make the whole movie feel like an amalgamation of comic book reading and gaming. It was also not R-rated, like Wright’s other movies, because the violence in it was extremely funny. Anybody who got defeated in a fight was turned into coins after the final blow. Every scene is vibrant and teeming with colour. Not only that, Wright and the costume designers peppered the movie with very minute details around his characters to give them more substance.
Edgar Wright is famous for how he makes his characters leave the screen. Amongst all the hilarious exits, this scene from Scott Pilgrim really takes the cake.
Edgar Wright is a master of crafty editing, escalation of scenes with light and sound and a genius at generating laughter out of almost anything. In case you have missed any of these movies, I’d recommend you to watch it. In case you have missed all of these movies, do not tell me, but watch it.
In all finality, I am really excited about Baby Driver. According to Imdb, it isn’t releasing in India but as I have waited for 4 years, I am ready to wait a few more months till it releases on Blu-ray. I am also very glad that it is getting rave reviews after it’s screening at SXSW and I hope Baby Driver becomes another amazing addition to Edgar Wright’s directorial career.
Thanks for reading.
Picture Courtesy: Collider, Deviantart, Wall Devil, Three Flavours Blood And Ice-cream(Tumblr), The Daily Touch
Gif Courtesy: Giphy, Tumblr