Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Over the years, I have
reviewed the terrible likes of Doom, Prince of Persia, Ballistic: Ecks
vs. Sever, Silent Hill, Alone in the Dark and many more and been forced
to come up with the following conclusion: You can’t make a good video game
Scott Pilgrim vs. the
World is forcing me to add a caveat to that long-held belief. You
can’t make a good video game movie specifically based on a game.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the
World is not based on a game. In fact, it is based on a respected graphic
novel. And yet, it is the first time in a movie that I have felt that
crazy, giddy gaming rush of adrenaline.
is a flawed movie, but a
fascinating one – quirky, crazy, fun and funny.
It is a love story and an
action film, a drama and a comedy, a musical and a live-action cartoon,
realistic and science fiction, impossibly cool and incredibly nerdy all at
the same time.
It actually succeeds
where star Michael Cena’s last film – the similarly quirky graphic-novel
adaptation Youth in Revolt – missed the mark. Pilgrim
captures the numb and apathetic longing of the new generation – an
over-caffeinated, sensory-overloaded, throbbing need for something but a
complete lack of understanding of what that thing is.
The characters of
Scott Pilgrim have grown up with loud music, XBOX, casual sex and
violence to the point that they are stuck in a torpor of muted feelings, and
yet they are sharp and snarky and smart and funny and talented and have a
wicked way with a topical reference.
All of which undoubtedly
makes Scott Pilgrim seem much more serious and stuffy than it is.
The movie dances to its own oddball cadences, but it is strangely
fascinating and exhilarating – sort of like looking at the world through a
As envisioned by Brit
co-writer/director Edgar Wright (leaving the safety of his Simon Pegg/Nick
Frost co-starring team from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz),
Scott Pilgrim hijacks stylistic tricks from games, comics, old John
Hughes movies, French new wave, anime,
music videos and even,
strangely, Eurotrash melodramas.
Cera plays Pilgrim, a
twenty-something wannabe rock star who is dating a cute Chinese high school
student with whom he has become bored. Then he meets a disaffected punkish
girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who he gets a huge crush on and decides to
win over. They tentatively start into an awkward relationship – and then
Scott learns that in order to win her over, he must do battle with her seven
This quick plot blurb
doesn’t start to do justice as to the complexity and eccentricity of
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World on all levels. It’s not exactly something
that can be explained – it has to be seen. I can see how this style of
filmmaking would become horribly annoying if done poorly, but Scott
Pilgrim – like its protagonist – ably sidesteps the pitfalls and traps
that are inherent in its revolutionary new filmmaking style.
Also, definitely watch
the outtakes. The Blu-Ray is one of those rare occasions where the movie
literally has an “alternate ending” – a completely opposite take on the
climax which is just as satisfying as the one that the
filmmakers eventually decided to go with.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: November 3, 2010.