August 13, 2010
Review - " Scott Pilgrim vs the World " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Everything changes one day when he meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a pink-haired girl who seems to be
the girl of his dreams.
But there’s a problem: Ramona has a
possessive ex-lover and in order to be with
her, he must defeat her Seven Evil Exes in
a mortal combat fight. And the ex is a very
capable man. Instead of loads of blood,
director Edgar Wright decided to insert video
games references which are loads of fun.
The characters are amazing, Scott is not the
only character who gets to be in the spotlight.
There are Wallace (Kieran Culkin), Scott’s
gay roommate, Knives (traumatized and
obsessed for love), Kim (Alison Pill), Scott’s
ex-girlfriend and drummer in his band,
a very sarcastic teenager and Stacey
(Anna Kendrick), Scott’s sister, while the exes
are eccentric characters.
The basic premise of Scott Pilgrim is that it’s
a romantic comedy set in a world that runs on
video game logic. When bass player Scott falls in love with Ramona Flowers (an amazon.ca delivery girl with access to Super
Mario Bros. 2’s Sub-Space), he finds out that he has to defeat her Seven Evil Exes in combat. Of course, the rules of the
world aren’t really established until Matthew Patel arrives to kill Scott, and after unleashing a 64-hit combo, Scott punches
Matthew so hard that he turns into coins. When this happens in the first book, it’s a giddy thrill. When it happens in the
movie, and there’s a whole audience along for the ride, the effect is really fantastic. It’s a whole theater full of people who
suddenly realize “OK, that’s how this is going to be.” And it’s really infectious – it’s not only fun to watch but there’s this
constant question as to whether they can really pull it off.
Culkin gets the best jokes as Scott’s gay roommate Wallace, though Alison Pill as the delightfully sour Kim Pine gives him a
run for his money. Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) makes the most of he few scenes as Scott’s sister, and Ellen Wong is kind of
heartbreaking as poor little Knives Chau.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Grindhouse) plays Ramona Flowers, the object of Scott’s affection. I like her performance, but I
don’t think Ramona is fleshed out enough for her importance in the story. It’s possible that this is intentional though – maybe
Scott falls in love before he really knows her well enough to tell if he loves her. Or maybe it’s meant to play off of the video
game influences – we don’t really get to know Princess Toadstool or Zelda either. It’s certainly nothing that will inhibit your
enjoyment, but at the end you may wonder why exactly Scott went through all this for her. Which, you know, might be exactly
what they intended.
And then there are the evil exes. It did my
heart good to see Arrested Development’s
Mae Whitman battle her former TV boyfriend.
Chris Evans seems to be channeling Ben
Stiller’s character from Dodgeball, and it’s
hilarious. His character is a big Hollywood
action star, and every line he says just kills.
Then there’s Brandon Routh as vegan Todd
Ingram. Yeah, Michael Cera fights Superman.
Routh plays him as maliciously dumb, and I
had no idea the guy had it in him to be funny.
And there’s Jason Schwartzman as Gideon
Graves, the final evil ex. He is absolutely
perfect – it’s the platonic ideal of Schwartzman
roles. Gideon is a self-important douche with
no moral center. He’s greasy and petty and in this world, he’s the biggest threat imaginable. The whole final sequence is
stunning – it’s elaborate, clever, and ridiculous. There’s an incredibly intricate fight scene where you suddenly remember “I
am watching Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman in a fight scene.”
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Michael Cera, Ellen Wong, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran
Culkin, Anna Kendrick, Mae Whitman, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh,
Jason Schwartzman, Alison Pill
This was supposed to be the weekend when Scott Pilgrim Vs The
World would top the Box Office but it didn’t. Instead, The Expendables
and Eat Pray Love took the best of the audience, leaving Scott Pilgrim
not even on the third place but on the fifth place.
Why wasn’t Scott Pilgrim Vs The World a popular movie in its first Box
Office weekend? Is is because it’s about nerds? Is it because not
everybody understands nerd comedy? Or is is because it didn’t have
enough testosterone like The Expendables and Inception have?
Either way, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is a good movie and worth
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World could have been one of the greatest nerd
movies ever made if director Edgar Wright would have managed to
give it the right spin. Is has its flaws but the story is still strong and
manages to keep the viewer in one place and want to find out more
about it. It is based on the comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley.
The movie is about romance and video games, comic books and rock
music. Mr. Pilgrim is the man who’s looking for love and has the power
to do everything to find what he’s looking for.
Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a bass player for The Sex Bomb-Omb
and is dating Knives, a high school girl (Ellen Wong). His life is perfect,
he plays in a band, has a girl, he lives in a good neighborhood.
I’m a huge fan of Michael Cera. Cera just
completely sells it – he nails the comedy, as
you knew he would, but he makes the action
scenes work as well. He grounds Scott in a
way that a more outgoing portrayal wouldn’t.
If Scott seems like the kind of guy who
gets into fights, then you lose the comedy.
As it is, that first moment when Cera jumps
twenty feet into the air and executes a
Dragon Punch straight out of Street Fighter
2 is completely unexpected and also
The movie is just ridiculously well-cast – they’
re all recognizable young actors who
somehow have the pacing down. Kieran
The film also plays with the idea that Scott is
an unreliable narrator, and maybe he’s
not as blameless in the events that
happened before as we might have
thought. It brings up the notion that we may
be the heroes of our own stories, but we’re
almost definitely the villain of somebody
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the kind of
movie that gives you a jolt when you realize
you’re seeing things that you haven’t seen
done in a movie before. It’s relentlessly
likeable and ridiculously fun.