Monday, August 16, 2010

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs The World

If it's Monday it must be movie review time.

One of things that puzzled me about this movie is how to describe it. How to describe what type of people would like it. "Scott Pilgrim vs The World" is a fantastic movie. I got my first laugh before the production company's logo faded from the screen. I loved this movie. My grandmothers would not. How do I explain why?

I read comic books. I go to super hero movies. I play video games and have since the dawn of video games. My grandmothers haven't. That's a large part of the difference.

You know how in Scrubs there are these cut-away scenes where we see what's happening in JD's head? Or those shows where a guy gets rejected and they show a scene where the girl shoves her hand in his chest, rips out his heart, and stomps it? "Scott Pilgrim vs The World" is like a two hour version of one of those cut scenes. Very little is realistic. It's all filmed like an exposition of how different events unfold in the heads of the main characters. It illustrates the emotional and psychological impact instead of what really happened.

At least that's one way to interpret it. Viewed that way it has the potential to be the core of a great paper for a psychology class.

Another way is to start with the '60s era Batman TV show. They showed the "BAM" and "POW" during fights. "Scott Pilgrim..." shows most forms of onomatopoeia as text on the screen.

It relies heavily on video game references. When an opponent gets defeated points rise from it's body. They often explode into coins when the die.

Scenes are changed quite suddenly and a bit jarringly, but done for comedic effect.

Still, I've said nothing about the plot.

Scott Pilgrim is 22. He's in a band. He has almost nothing to his name. He's broken a lot of hearts for such a dork. He's dating an asian Catholic high school student who is too shy to hold his hand. A major band competition is taking place in his area that could lead to a recording deal.

One day he sees a girl he saw in a dream. He completely fails to start up a conversation with her. But persistence pays off. He gets a date. He also gets an e-mail that he completely ignores. What it tells him is that the girl has seven evil exes. Scott will have to defeat all seven of the exes. And they all have superpowers. But so does Scott. And the girlfriend. Which is why I wonder if this is all supposed to be a reflection of how his mind interprets events. This interpretation is heavily influenced by all the comics and computer games in his life.

Through the course of Scott fighting the exes and learning about the girl's past Scott slowly starts to realize that he's left a wake of emotional destruction behind him as well.

I laughed. A lot. Out loud. There's no doubt whether or not I'll get this movie on DVD. Of course I will.

update: I forgot to mention that it was directed and co-written by Edgar Wright who also did "Shawn of the Dead". That should give you some idea what to expect and if you're the kind of person who will like this movie.

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