The 13-ish Best Edgar Wright Movie Characters

sp kieran culkin

9. Wallace Wells (Scott Pilgrim vs the World)

“I want to have his adopted babies.”

Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) has no emotional stake in his friend Scott Pilgrim’s troubles, partly because he knows Scott will survive and partly because he knows Scott has brought this all on himself. Wallace Wells is us. He does have a very practical concern in that he wants his friend and roommate to become his friend and ex-roommate, and to that end he’s absolutely merciless in skewering Pilgrim, pointing out his flaws and mistakes, and stealing other people’s boyfriends. Okay that last part is unrelated, but the point is he’s one of the film’s funniest characters in part because he exists solely to poke fun at those around him. Culkin also does great work with deceptively flat line deliveries that hang in the air midway between joke and truth.

hf andys

8. The Andys (Hot Fuzz)

“Murder murder murder.”

I would watch a spin-off film featuring the Andys in a heartbeat, and I think you would too. Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall are so perfectly in sync with their weirdness and sass that they gleefully flip the buddy-cop cliches on their head by being irredeemable yet endlessly lovable pricks. It would be like the recent War on Everyone, but funny. They work here as a surface resistance to Simon Pegg’s efforts, but even as they’re mercilessly knocking him back, their glances and hesitations reveal a layer of insecurity before the superior cop. It’s the only subtle note between them, but it’s enough. Even their friendly words of encouragement come laced with acid  – “Angel, don’t go being a twat now!” – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

sod simon pegg

7. Shaun (Shaun of the Dead)

“I don’t think I’ve got it in me to shoot my flatmate, my mum, and my girlfriend all in the same evening!”

Shaun (Simon Pegg) is the ultimate slacker hero in many ways, and while that formula has been run somewhat into the ground over the years Pegg’s Shaun nails the necessary balance between incompetence and heroics. He finds motivation when tested, but it doesn’t turn him immediately into a hero, as evidenced by his incalculably stupid plan to leave the safety of a second floor apartment for a ground floor pub. Because seriously. He learns from it though and acknowledges his mistake, which is already more than most similarly-structured characters manage. His increasing competence follows something of a ‘one step forward, two steps back’ format at times, but it’s a journey that holds out attention and earns our laughter.

we nick frost

6. Andy Knightley (The World’s End)

“Nothing suggested in the past three minutes has been better than ‘smashy smashy egg man.'”

Nick Frost‘s only stab at real seriousness in a Wright film comes, fittingly, in Wright’s least funny film. That change of pace is a big part of what makes the character of Knightley so good as the actor gets to flex untapped muscles with impressive results. He’s a conscience of sorts to good old Gary King (Pegg), and like most of our nagging crickets, he’s summarily ignored for his efforts. When push comes to shove though, Andy reveals that not only is he great at both pushing and shoving, but he’s also someone who recognizes the importance of friendship, forgiveness, and loyalty in times of need. His role shifts in the end from sidekick to a man making the best of his present while documenting the errors – his own included – of the past. While he may not be all that chuckle-worthy, he remains a rare Wright character with deeply dramatic depths.

sp alison pill

5. Kim Pine (Scott Pilgrim vs the World)

“If your life had a face, I would punch it.”

Maybe the comics explain it better, but the attraction girls have towards Scott Pilgrim is something of a mystery. One of his other lady suitors ranks higher up the list (and further down the page), but Kim Pine (Alison Pill) stands tall and ready to rock out while simultaneously slagging on Scott for his life choices. Pill’s straight-faced delivery only makes the barbs and slams that much better, and despite her character’s name, she’s moved well beyond the simplicity of a girl pining for her ex-boyfriend. Kim’s love is the music and when she sits down behind a drum set, the music loves her back. She is sex bob-omb.

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