Scott Pilgrim vs The World – Movie Review

Scott Pilgrim’s life is so awesome. He’s 23 years old, in a rock band, “between jobs,” and dating a cute high school girl. Everything’s fantastic until a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, roller blading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. But the path to Ms. Flowers isn’t covered in rose petals. Ramona’s seven evil exes stand between Scott and true happiness. Can Scott defeat all seven of the bad guys and get the girl without turning his precious little life upside-down, before the game is over?

The film is based on the Oni Press graphic novel Scott Pilgrim Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, written by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

 

I’m not sure where to start with this review to be honest.  I’ve been flatout busy since seeing the preview last week but have not been able to sit down to write a review, for which I apologise hugely!  My kneejerk reaction to Scott Pilgrim vs The World is to urge everyone to go and see it as I utterly loved it.  I read the comics and yes there are deviations from them – of course there had to be – but I still thought it was a pretty epic flick.

As bass player for the almost-there band, Sex Bob-omb Scott Pilgrim’s life is pretty dull or awesome, depending on your outlook.  Jobless and being in a band, seems to be all that he can cope with, that and  dating a high school girl he met on one of those free dating sites, named Knives Chau who when introduced to the band members of Sex Bob-omb, becomes their first (and only) groupie.  I loved the almost-adult relationship between Scott and Chau.  Scott doesn’t want a complicated relationship right now, he’s happy where he is with Chau and we several times get the hint that she’d like to take it further, but Scott just turns away in time.

But we know of course things won’t go as quietly as this for the entire flick: when he spots rollerblading Ramona Flowers, first in a dream, then at a library, then at a party, he becomes obsessed with her.  When he finds out she works for Amazon doing deliveries, he immediately orders something and waits for the delivery to arrive.  He also gets a random email from someone called Matthew Patel, something about a fight to the death or something…he deletes it, as clearly it’s not important.

Stalking Ramona

Ramona does indeed turn up and agrees to go on a date with him if he’ll sign for the package.  Their date takes place in a snow-covered park and we find out a bit more about Ramona who really does light up the screen as a very cool girl everyone would want to hang with.

Well, soon enough, things go a bit pearshaped when Scott invites Ramona to the next gig the band’s playing at.  Especially as Knives is there too.  And things get even more over the top when Ramona’s first evil ex-boyfriend comes flying through the roof of the venue.  Yes, it is in fact, Matthew Patel, come for his mano a mano fight with Scott Pilgrim.

And so the movie continues from one screaming fight scene to the next, as Scott battles against a variety of Ramona’s evil ex-boyfriends.  In between we have some outstanding (and loud, very loud) music to keep us entertained, some character and relationship development between Ramona and Scott, a new “romance” for Knives Chau with Young Neil, and the band gearing up for a massive rock off in a battle of the bands.

League of Evil Exes – l/r: Ken Katayanagi (SHOTA SAITO), Gideon Graves (JASON SCHWARTZMAN), Matthew Patel (SATYA BHABHA), Lucas Lee (CHRIS EVANS),Kyle Katayanagi (KEITA SAITO), Todd Ingram (BRANDON ROUTH) and Roxy Richter (MAE WHITMAN)

There are several small asides, which I loved: Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells somehow managing to steal Scott’s sister’s boyfriends, the fact that the place they are staying in is so tiny that Scott and Wallace (and his boyfriend(s)) all share the same mattress, that Scott has learned awesome martial arts skills from playing computer games with Knives Chau – the list seems to be endless.

It truly is an incredibly ambitious movie and Edgar Wright pulls it off with credible ease.  Michael Cera is the nerdboy du jour these days and his hapless heroing works very well in this and actually, he is far more believable in this than he was in Zombieland (rubbish reference as it turns out it was Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland <<redface>>).  The supporting cast in the flick is amazing – right through from the band members to the evil ex-boyfriends.  Honestly, you watch this and you can tell that everyone seems to be having an absolutely blast.

The music is as much part of the movie as the visuals are – periodically things go video-game on us and all you can do is grin and bear it because it makes complete and utter sense within the context of this flick.  I kid you not.  I walked out desperately wanting shout-outs to blaze up behind me as I punched my partner in the arm.  Kapow! And no, it didn’t happen.  Not yet.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World is one of those flicks that will probably suffer because of all the media attention.  People will be put off by the buzz generated, because sometimes it just works like that and no one can change your mind.  However, it may surprise you in a pleasant way.  It’s a movie for comic book fans, for music fans, for video game fans, for arcade games fans and people who enjoy the utterly improbable brought to their screens.   It’s an homage to all things geeky and retro and the preview audience got so behind it all that when the movie ended, there was loud-loud applause.  What more can a film-maker and storyteller ask for?

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2 comments

  1. Red Five /

    Awesome review and I cannot wait to see it. Little aside, it was Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland, but they do look similar 🙂 And where can I get myself a Michael Cera to take home?!!

  2. @Red – omg, how embarrassing. Thanks for the aside. It is now fixed. I enjoyed it – don’t go too meta watching it, as there are one or two niggles, but overall it’s just huge and loud and fun.

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