Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is based off of a graphic novel series released in the early 2000s. It focuses on one Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and his going up against “the seven evil exes” of the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a beautiful, unique, hard-to-get-a-fix-on, too-cool crusader of non-conformist culture, with the entire struggle representing the inferiority complex of a young man presumed by everyone to be out of his league in his quest for her.
The film has a social conscience all its own and dialogue and scene changes that are as fast as the ninja moves on the video games incorporated, or more relevantly, like the crazy scene changes within the mind of a dreamer, making the work as ethereally conceived as it is shot, as though in REM state.
The colors blue, gray, and black – in cloudy, stormy hazes and inside tight, crunched-in dorm rooms – are complimented by nearly perpetual snow and mostly night skies. In seeing them, we get additional glimpses inside the head of one boy and star of the show.
With a mixture of mock martial arts fighting and a storyline birthed from a crazed obsession with old-school videogames (with a helping of the new teen focus on underground bands), you have a tasteful and sometimes funny elemental blending of classic Nintendo games like River City Ransom, teen-based sitcoms, 80s metal-head guitar stand-offs, and enough flaky foolishness to set it on its own head.
It is essentially humor for the graphic novel equivalent of kooky theoretical physicists or the stoned—or, of course, fans of the book series, which the film represents fairly well. It may be one of the corniest works of art in a while, but anyone who goes to see it after reading this review deserves to be disappointed in not getting to see the straightforward teen romance/drama flick they wanted to, starring the now famous Cera, with his awesomely loved every-man-and-then-some qualities.
Behold, the slams against comic books in the oft-displayed words: “BAM!” The spacey, low-grade humor will appeal mostly to those in an altered state of mind, with it being what could be called a trendy flop or a silly bore to a good portion of viewers.
The entire film has the appeal of the old videogames you once loved and almost want to play again, with a seductively applied romantic chemistry throughout, as the work culminates in the eventually soaked-up realization: You have to fight for love. Were it not for its alienation of the mainline viewing audiences expecting a halfway normal movie, it would have done better.
Grade: C- (2 stars)
Director: Edgar Wright
Summary: Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart.
Starring: Michael Cera "Scott Pilgrim," Alison Pill "Kim Pine," Mark Webber "Stephen Stills," Johnny Simmons "Young Neil," Ellen Wong "Knives Chau," Kieran Culkin "Wallace Wells," Anna Kendrick "Stacey Pilgrim," Aubrey Plaza "Julie Powers," Mary Elizabeth Winstead "Ramona Flowers"
Genre: Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy