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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Josh Reviews Scott Pilgrim vs. the World!

September 17th, 2010
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Let me say right up front that I found Scott Pilgrim vs. the World to be an enormously fun, engaging, original movie, and I am really bummed that the film has been so poorly received at the American box office.  After a summer filled with so many lazy, lowest-common-demoninator money-grab movies, here at last is a movie stuffed to overflowing with wit and creativity and heart.  Too bad so few people have seen it!!

Based on the series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley (which I’ll admit that, despite my love of comics, I have never read), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World tells of story of Scott, a young, lonely twenty-something kid looking for someone to love (who will hopefully love him back).  The film is bold in making Scott to be rather unlikable when we first meet him.  We quickly learn that he’s been in a number of failed relationships, and that he doesn’t seem to have been too gentle to the girls he broke up with once he decided that they weren’t his one true love.  There’s been some back-lash against Michael Cera in recent days, and several of his films have crashed-and-burned (Year One was a mess, and did anyone see Youth in Revolt?), but he’s very well cast in the lead role of Scott Pilgrim.  He has the acerbic edge that allows us to see how he could easily be a jerk to the girls he’s dated, but he also has enough warmth and humor and gentleness that we still wish him well and want to follow him on his adventures in the film.

And Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is certainly more of an adventure than the Juno/Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist type opening might have you believe.  When Scott meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), he immediately finds himself deeply infatuated with her, and the two begin to date.  This is when Scott learns that, to date Ramona, he must battle and defeat her Seven Evil Exes.

If that synopsis is starting to sound like the premise of a video-game more than a movie, then you’re right!  Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is positively drowning in a clear love for video-games.  The film does contain the increasingly elaborate and energetically staged superhero vs. supervillain fights (mirroring the increasingly challenging levels of a video game) that the premise seems to promise, but there’s much more to it then that.  Starting with the ingeniously revamped opening title-cards (in which the studio logos are presented in a pixellated version that looks like what you’d see after dropping a few quarters into an arcade game), practically every frame of the film is filled with creative … [continued]