Monday, August 16, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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Despite having never read the source material, I spent my Friday night seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and let me tell you, that is one strange head-trip of a movie. It’s enjoyable for sure, but I think my best friend put it best when she told me afterwards she thought that watching that movie might be the same as a mild acid trip.

The only real beef I have with Scott Pilgrim is that for the first act of the film, Scott is kind of an unlikable douche. He’s dating a minor, taking advantage of his friends, and soon cheats on his young girlfriend with his new “love” Ramona Flowers. It isn’t really until the oddness of the story starts that I could really get into Scott Pilgrim as a character – before he was just Scott Pilgrim, loser.

However, once the movie gets going it is a ride to be had. Ramona is a fiercely independent and reserved character, but Scott compliments her nicely as he matches her spontaneity with timidity. Scott is completely unprepared for the fact that out of nowhere he has to battle her seven, evil exes if he wants to continue seeing her and the audience is glad he has to get beat up because he was being such a douche earlier in the film. So it all equals out. The film itself is a trip, emulating a video game whenever possible, even redoing the Universal logo as though it were going to be for the original Nintendo system.

What makes the film are the evil exes, each one completely different from the last. My Superman obsession aside, I have to say that my favorite evil ex is Todd Ingram played by Brandon Routh. Todd is the new boyfriend of ex that broke Scott’s heart, and he has super vegan powers. You heard that right. Vegan powers. Their battle is epic and humorous, with a special appearance by the vegan police at the end.

I’m not sure I’d get long term enjoyment out of this film, but I did like it and I appreciate that it’s a film that didn’t try to be normal, or normalize the source material upon which it was based. This is a movie that’s meant to be wacky and a story that’s meant to be off beat. However, I like so many others am ready for Michael Cera to no longer be typecast as the lovelorn nerd.

Director: Edgar Wright
Writers: Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright
Scott Pilgrim: Michael Cera
Kim Pine: Alison Pill
Stephen Stills: Mark Webber
Young Neil: Johnny Simmons
Knives Chau: Ellen Wong
Wallace Wells: Kieran Culkin
Stacey Pilgrim: Anna Kendrick
Ramona Flowers: Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Matthew Patel: Satya Bhabha
Lucas Lee: Chris Evans
Roxy Richter: Mae Whitman
Todd Ingram: Brandon Routh
Gideon: Jason Schwartzman
Kyle Katayanagi: Keita Saitou
Ken Katayanagi: Shota Saito

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