Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

It's something how when we don't like something we generally rush to tell everyone, and yet when we love something, not so much. I'm actually more than happy to tell you just how much I love Scott Pilgrim vs the World. The problem comes in when I think about talking about it in blog form, what exactly do I talk about?

From what I can tell, there are three kinds of people when it comes to this movie. Some of you may have just been taking the "wait until it's out on DVD" approach, and hey, guess what? It came out today! So go get it! Others have already seen it and love it as much as I do so I'm really just preaching to the choir for you guys. The last group is made up of people who have dismissed it, whether because they are feeling "Michael Cera fatigue" or it just looked like the kind of movie that isn't for them. It may be a fool's hope to change the mind of this last group, but I'm going to try.

Michael Cera

I'm not going to pretend like he's some kind of master thespian. I've seen him in Arrested Development, Juno, and Superbad before this, and I'm willing to admit it's all practically the same character. The way he plays Scott Pilgrim.. it's a slightly more belligerent version of that character. I've only read volume one of the comic so far, and already I'm willing to admit that it's a bit different from the graphic novel version characterization. But it's not like it ruins the entire film. Is that same character he plays over and over again really that bad? There are so many other characters, so many absolutely fantastic supporting characters around him at pretty much all times, that it's easy to ignore.

The Rest of the Cast - in case you don't believe me

Kieran Culkin - Wallace is hands down my favorite character in the movie, and it's all Kieran's fault. His dry wit and sarcasm had me laughing through pretty much every scene he's in.

Alison Pill - speaking of dry, how could you not love Kim? She's got Daria's sarcasm and she's a drummer. Awesome.

Aubrey Plaza - if you watch Parks and Recreation, you already know how awesome Aubrey is. Her role in the movie is small, but she owns it.

Chris Evans - He already proved he could play a thrill seeking cocky pretty boy in the Fantastic Four movies, so he's fully enjoyable here as Lucas Lee. Though it still makes me wonder how he's going to pull off Captain America...

Brandon Routh - From Captain America to Superman, Scott Pilgrim sure has to take on some serious tough guys! The poking fun of veganism here is fantastic, and Brandon does a great job of playing this smart yet not so smart pretty boy. Also.. bass battle! Woo!

Mae Whitman - She was "that Ann" on Arrested Development but you wouldn't really recognize her as such here since she's playing a kick ass ninja lesbian.

Jason Schwartzman - I've kind of had this grudge against him ever since my brother made me watch Rushmore, swearing it was funny. It wasn't. That may enhance my feelings of dislike toward the slimy asshole he plays here, but I think even without that he's just the type of character that you'd love to punch in the face.

It's Not For Me

I suppose, if you've never played a single video game in your life, some of the references might be lost on you. But surely if you were alive in the 80s you've played an arcade game at least once? Enough to know about life bars and points and coins and one ups? Sure, it might not fill you with as much out and out glee as it does me when I see these scenes, but it's not like you're not going to understand what's going on. There's plenty of humor and action going on throughout these scenes that you'll still be entertained whether you recognize the soundtrack to Zelda: A Link to the Past or not. Edgar Wright made me enjoy a zombie movie back when I couldn't stand horror films and a buddy cop drama when I had no interest in such stories. You're going to have to trust me when I tell you he will make you love a comic book adaptation with video game references.

Also, it's a love story. Knives is in love with Scott, Scott is in love with Ramona. Those seven evil exes Scott must defeat? It's symbolism for the baggage that everyone brings into a new relationship, the things we learn as we get to know about someone's past and how it makes them who they are today when we're with them. This is one of those fantastic stories that you can either appreciate on its shallow flash and substance level or dig deep and think about and analyze and make comparisons and write essays. I've already figured out I have six "evil" exes.

No matter what your reservations are, I highly recommend giving this one a chance. It's beautifully shot, extremely funny, and not your average action adventure OR romantic comedy. If you grew up during the 80s, it's entirely possible you have just found your new favorite movie. Even if it's not all that, I guarantee you'll have spent a good two hours of your time.


  1. +JMJ+

    The "seven evil exes" was my favourite part! It really is a great symbol. =)

  2. I really love the way it starts like a typical love at first sight story but then it uses such a fun device to be more honest about relationships. Who would think that a movie that mimics comics and video games could be more realistic than your average set in the real world romantic comedy? :)

  3. I've always wondered what a person who's never read the original graphic novels would think of Scott Pilgrim vs the World. Of course, your background makes it easier, but, as you rightfully pointed out, it has some universal appeal to people who grew up in late 80s/early 90s. Maybe even later 90s.

    (This is the part where I would usually say "in America," except we had arcades in Russia, too. And even though imported games were expensive when I was a kid, and me and most kids I knew were too poor to afford them, we were at least somewhat aware they existed)

    As far as the whole "Michael Cera plays the same character everywhere" thing, I don't mind when actors stick to type - provided they do that type well. But I wouldn't be surprised if, a few years from now, Cera would do something completely outside his comfort zone and blow everyone away.


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