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Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Monday, December 20th, 2010 | Posted by Andrew Zimmerman Jones

Scott Pilgrim levels up when he gains the Power of Love.

Scott Pilgrim levels up when he gains the Power of Love.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World , a live-action film based on a popular comic book limited series which was written to mimic a quasi-video game world, goes beyond “quirky” into a new realm of meta-film.

What do I mean by this? I guess the best way to explain it is that at no point during the film is the viewer really allowed to forget that they’re watching a film. Watching the film is like watching a mix of anime and video game which happens to be performed by real actors. The fight scenes are extremely impressive, a mix of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Super Mario Galaxy, with some Guitar Hero thrown in for good measure.

“Realism” has no place in this film.

At first, you might think that things like this would ruin the film, but instead it allows you to engage with the film on a whole different level than what you’re used to … and it works.

The plot is fairly basic, though the execution becomes more convoluted than it needs to be. Scott Pilgrim (Canadian, age 22, Rating: Awesome) is a geeky guy who falls in love with the cool Ramona Flowers. Shortly into their romance, he discovers that in order to stay with her, he must battle her seven evil exes (6 ex-boyfriends and one ex-girlfriend, from an experimental phase), all of whom appear to have been trained at the Mortal Kombat academy.

One of the plot complications is that Scott  begins the movie dating a high school student, named Knives Chau. (She’s Chinese.) They almost held hands once, but she falls in love with him … at right around the same time he falls in love with Ramona. So, while he’s battling Ramona’s evil exes, he has ex issues of his own, as he dumps Knives to begin dating Ramona.

It’s in Scott’s emotional reactions to his friends (and girlfriends) that the viewer is able to connect with the storyline, and in a sense all of the craziness from the rest of the plotline makes the emotional aspects of Scott’s journey all the more believable … though, still, not too believable.

While the film is ultimately about Scott standing up for himself and his love, the fact is that the film isn’t that deep. It’s an enjoyable film, so long as it’s viewed as a fun action farce. If you begin trying to read too much more into it, you’ll probably be disappointed.

Find out more about the film, and even buy it, at Amazon.com.

2 Comments »

  1. Michael Cera, I.E. Box Office Poison, does not carry this movie for me. I find it far too difficult to enjoy him as a leading man in a role.

    Comment by Scott Taylor - December 20, 2010 1:20 pm

  2. […] young adult films contained some surprising (and not-so-surprising) gems. I previously spoke about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (along with compelling follow-up commentary by Magille Foote), so I’ll focus on some other […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Favorite Fantasy Films of 2010 - January 3, 2011 12:18 pm


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