Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

Disclaimer: I’m unfamiliar with the graphic novel world of Scott Pilgrim.  This might explain my primary reaction to this wackster multi-media movie.  That being, “Huh?”

The story, such as it is, centers around nerdy, skinny Scott falling for magenta-haired Ramona before discovering she comes with some strings attached, namely, seven evil exes.  He must defeat them in silly, kung-fu fueled battles that come with those bonk-glurpp-kapow! Batman visual sound effects.  Surprisingly, Scott turns out to be a kick-ass warrior, I guess because he plays a lot of video games?   It’s as unexplained as how he got to be cool enough to be in a band or why the out-of-his-league Ramona ever looked at him twice in the first place.  Not to mention the two hot exes battling Ramona for his attentions.

Rotten Tomatoes critics and community gave this movie mostly high marks, quoting its ‘self-awareness’ as its strongest point.  Granted, the movie winking at its own absurdities does keep it from being unwatchable.  But for me, the best part was how short and chopped up each moment was.  That way, the non-sequiters and random bits don’t stick around long enough to become truly annoying.

The actors are blameless and it’s always good to see Michael Cera.  Maybe if I hadn’t heard good things about this movie, I would have been pleasantly surprised by the meta-slacker quirkiness.  As it is, I’m just glad it was free on HBO and I didn’t insist my friends pay to see it.

One out of five stars.

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6 Responses to Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

  1. “Scott Pilgrim” is set in a universe where all video game rules apply, ie: characters have video-game-style combat skills and they get power-ups (such as the sword Scott pulls out of his chest) and bonus lives. All the audiovisual effects in this film are consistent with established video game rules/clichés/tropes/etc (right down to the “8-bit” Universal logo at the beginning of the film that pays tribute to 1980’s-era games). Characters in video games are “Mary Sues” for gamers, which is why Scott has a major band gig and two girlfriends (Knives, Ramona) that he would not likely have in real life.

    The cult status of the “Scott Pilgrim” movie is directly attributable to the fact that the film has massive video-gamer geek appeal, but zero general appeal. Anyone not familiar with the basic tropes of video game culture will find this film to be one giant can of what-the-f***. 😉

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    • Chris Devlin says:

      Er…okay. Well, I know some people who aren’t at all video gamers and they still liked the movie. I think it’s possible. It just didn’t do it for me. For one thing, the character had no arc.

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  2. PS: Michael Cera would be a great choice to play J in a movie version of my novel, even if he is (technically) too tall and too old.

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    • Chris Devlin says:

      Hmm, I think your J would be better portrayed by someone with the same chromosomal status, don’t you? There are some actors, like Jamie Brewer on American Horror Story and Lauren Potter on Glee, who do a great job.

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