Scott Pilgrim VS. The World - Movie Review
Scott Pilgrim VS. The World
Like most video games, Scott Pilgrim VS. The World has its own kind of learning curve. It's fast, fanciful,and filled to the brim with visual and audial inventiveness. So fast, in fact, that the fervently delivered dialogue can sometimes scramble it's way through both ears without full comprehension or appreciation by the viewer. It's as close to animation as a live-action film can get, and it's as close to playing a video game as much as just watching someone else play it for you. There are so many things to like about the movie, and at the same time so many things that keep you just far enough away from the characters to fully enjoy it.
Scott is presented to us (partially through pop-up statistics) as a 22 year old slacker who passes his days by dating girls who would otherwise never give him the time of day. That's not to say he's without a sense of innocence. The quality time he spends with his high school girlfriend Knives is mostly spent on his bus ride tag-alongs, but with this innocence comes a sense of naivete. Scott has little backbone, and the constant barrage of insults he receives from his close friends lands in a place somewhere between pathetic and rightly deserved. One day he receives a vision of the hair-dyed girl of his dreams, and when that girl Ramona suddenly turns up Scott's interests veer suddenly away from the likes of Knives. A relationship seems to blossom just in time for Scott to realize he has to defeat each of Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends in glorious colorful battles.
Much like a video game, and the graphic novel that Scott Pilgrim VS. The World was based upon, the film is fairly episodic. Think of each boyfriend encounter as reaching the next level. For a comic, a game, and maybe a television show, I see this working. For a film, the structure doesn't quite fit. Yes, it may be epic, but even the epic of Homer's Odyssey defined the heroes journey as a finely calibrated form of storytelling. I suspect even the slightest variance, in the form of storytelling from comic book to screen, could result in armies from comic-con storming the home of director Edgar Wright, but if you're going to make a film, make a film.
There are things I wish I could have seen, time that could have been invested in strengthening the ties within this dramatic love triangle. Instead, the drama often hit me more along the lines of middle school interactions. I really liked all of these characters, but I wanted to see something happen between them aside from snarky dialogue and graphically represented sounds likes RIIIIIIING or BDDDDDDD. Maybe it's a personal preference to want moments of quiet beauty, but what I received mostly only remind me of an extended Japanese commercial.
This is where we're heading people.
All in all, Scott Pilgrim is still winning with it's charm and sheer enthusiasm. There is so much here to absorb and laugh with. There are beautiful and inventive touches in every corner of the screen, from the brilliant first image of the pixelated Universal logo, to the crashing waves of plastic cups in the midst of a bass guitar battle. I was smiling the whole time. I was honestly wondering how it would all pan out for our hero and his rather confusing love life, but simply knowing that the film had it's heart in the right place made everything worth it. Scott Pilgrim VS. The World is endearing, certainly enjoyable, and definitely worth seeing.