Storytelling Through Movement

I saw Scott Pilgrm Vs. The World yesterday.  I won’t do a full scale review of it, but I will say that it’s an awesomely fun movie.

There was one fight scene that reminded me of a film I saw at a Terra Cotta Warriors Kung Fu Film Festival last winter that I wanted to post about but forgot.

The movie is called . . . wait for it . . . Dirty Ho.  Gotta love unintentionally hilarious translations.  The scene below may have been the inspiration for the one in Scott Pilgrim where the lead character is “led” by his romantic interest in his fight against one of her evil Ex’s.

Dirty Ho is worth checking out, and even if you’re too cheap to rent it, most of it has been posted on YouTube.  A lot of the plot is unnecessarily complicated and flat out doesn’t make sense, but like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World I do like that most of the fight scenes serve a purpose either by advancing the plot or providing some character development.

I previously mentioned how Fred Astaire helped to pioneer the concept of the “integrated musical” where most if not all of the dance sequences in his movies served some other purpose other than to just do it.

In addition to showcasing some clever “lead/follow” fight choreography, the above scene does a pretty good job of illustrating one character’s doofusness and the other’s playfully deceptive nature.

Dirty Ho is the doofus.  The other male character is Mr. Wang,  a prince targeted for assassination, who tries to keep a secret identity despite the fact that everyone, except for Dirty Ho, knows who he is as evidenced by the fact that assassins keeping showing up to kick his ass.  Did I mention that Dirty ho is also a petty thief?  Yes, one of the lead characters is a stupid, lying Dirty Ho.

I’m here all week folks.

I also really like this scene where Mr. Wang still keeps up appearances even while someone is trying to kill him.  After all they’re having tea, and he wouldn’t want to be rude.

Scott Pilgrim has a lot quirky and clever visuals spread throughout the film, not just in the fight scenes, but it’s not flash and trash.  Go see for yourself.

1 Comment

  1. DJ Larkin said,

    August 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Gordon Liu, the actor playing the prince, is one of my all time favorite martial artists. You should check out a movie called Shaolin Master Killer, or 36th Chamber of Shaolin. It goes by a few different names. It’s all about training to be a monk, and has some sweet training scenes in it.

    Here’s the first part:

    He also plays both the leader of the Crazy 88s and Pai Mei in Kill Bill.

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