December 15, 2010

Rabid Rewind: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick
directed by Edgar Wright
screenplay by Edgar Wright & Michael Bacall
based on the comic book series by Bryan Lee O' Malley
Universal Pictures (2010)

There was a macabre delight for me when, after weeks of hype surrounding the Scott Pilgrim movie--even going so far as to call it a game-changer and the single best movie of 2010--when the opening weekend box office results rolled in ... the movie came in a dismal 5th place. That's the problem when you make a movie about and for slacker twenty-somethings: they're going to download the movie through torrent sites rather than actually spend money to support their darling film.

I suppose there are those who say they didn't buy a ticket to the movie because it wasn't a good movie, but after watching it on DVD this month I don't buy that. Scott Pilgrim is definitely a good movie--maybe the best movie about twenty-somethings since the last time Michael Cera starred in a movie.

Scott Pilgrim is a self-absorbed, 22-year-old bass player relishing in the fact that he's dating a 17-year-old Chinese girl named Knives. But now he's met the girl of his dreams. Her name's Ramona Flowers, and he first sees her in one of his dreams. Literally. And when he manages to get a date with her, he finds out the hard way that she's got seven evil ex-boyfriends--and they all want to kill him. So with the help of his bandmates, his gay roommate Wallace, and his sister, he has to find ways to defeat all seven of the boyfriends (one's a girl, even), get his band noticed by producers, gently dump Knives, avoid his own ex-girlfriend Envy Adams, and maintain a comfortable level of obliviousness.

If you're not a gamer though, the references to Super Mario Bros. and other popular games from the last twenty-some years are probably going to fly right over your head. And the sight gags, one-liners, and graphic effects are frenetic. Non stop. The slowest points of this movie are still whipping by at a fast clip. I mean, at one point there is a Battle of the Bands going on, and it jumps with hardly any segwe into a superhero caliber fist fight. Unless you're at least partially acclimated to the Scott Pilgrim universe, you're gonna be scratching your head I'll wager.

Is it a game-changer? Doubt it. Not in this jaded age. Is it the movie of the year? Doubt it. Not with Inception on the ballot (I haven't seen that movie yet, but so many folks who have still drool over it).


  1. I've been wanting to see this one more and more as I learn more about it....
    Sounds awesome!

  2. It's definitely much better if one is familiar with the comic books before watching the actual movie. I can't imagine what my thoughts would have been, had I not read the graphic novels beforehand.

    That being said, it's one freakin' awesome film and among my favourites of the year, even though I do agree with you that it's hardly THE movie of the year. Especially with Inception around. :)

  3. Andrew - It was pretty darned good.

    Atroxion - Yeah, a familiarity with the comic books is practically a prerequisite. Haven't seen Inception yet, but I have it queued.