Scott Pilgrim review
You’ve probably read enough film reviews on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World to know it’s had a mixed reception. We at Mookychick think unicorns leap in formation out of Edgar Wright’s bottom. He is that good. But is Scott Pilgrim? [Contains some plot spoilers]
Filled with arcade inspired fights, gaming references and cute girls, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (based on the comic of the same name and directed by Edgar Wright, he of Shaun of the Dead fame) is the ultimate nerd film.
So why didn’t I enjoy it? Two words, one name – Michael Cera.
Michael Cera’s acting resume consists of playing the bullied nerd, so I was pleased to see him graduating from the nerdy teenage guy-trying-to-get-the girl-and-eventually gets-the-girl to the nerdy young adult trying-to-get-the-girl-and-eventually-gets-the girl.
Sure, his stints in Superbad and Juno were tolerable, because his shtick was new and original we’d been pummelled with beefed up Arnold Schwarzenegger types for years on end so it was refreshing to see someone who you knew you could beat up on the screen.
The routine dried out and we got a constant barrage of geek guy powered movies rolling into town, hoping to strike a cord with Cera’s fan base (looking at Scott Pilgrim’s take at the box office, there isn’t much of a fan base to go by). The general populace, including myself, were waiting for the beef cakes to make their anxiously awaited return only we ended up with the dud that was ‘The Expendables.’
As the title character, Cera rocks out with his high school formed band Sex-B-Bomb, wearing the occasional shirt that pays homage to a popular video game and having a hand-holding relationship with seventeen year old girl, Knives (Ellen Wong – the epitome of an annoying fan girl – which wasn’t funny, just annoying as fan girls are) at the age of twenty two. Yes, I did find that extremely creepy and will make no further comment on the matter.
Ramona Flowers (practically a younger version of Clementine from ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind’ but played to a lesser degree of mystery by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) was the idol of Scott’s affections when he envisioned her in a dream, skating past him in the school hallways. This wasn’t just Scott’s imagination, no; when in the library with Knives, helping to fish out her school books, he sees Ramona there and is unable to take his eyes off her.
Awkward Cera-written moments lie ahead at a party where Ramona happens to be, and once he makes a fool out of himself, naturally, he plans to gain Ramona’s attention by ordering a package from Amazon and wait for her to deliver it (after finding out that she works at the company.)
Ramona agrees to Scott’s advances of a date once she delivers his package, and they wander off chit-chatting away in the local park.
He invites her to the ‘battle of the bands’ competition his band are competing in where – little to Scott’s knowledge, as he only skim read his email the night before – he can only be with Ramona if he defeats her seven evil ex-boyfriends.
I care not to go into how many times Ramona corrects him and says “Seven evil exes” instead of “Seven evil ex-boyfriends.”
Basically, the film drifts off on the same note of boredom with lines like “You punched my bubby! Prepare to die, obviously” and wisecracks about Scott’s gay roommate, Wallace (the ‘Home Alone’ kid’s brother, Kieran Culkin).
The fights, in the end, are anti-climatic though the gaming effects are no doubt very cool. The talk in the movie between the ‘action’ is just a filler, where we don’t care about the characters enough to hear them getting all emotional and sharing the awkward moment or two together.
The light at the end of the tunnel is the deliciously addictive soundtrack (supplied by Metric and Broken Social Scene to name a few) who voice some of the bands, and an appearance from Jason Schwartzman (the seventh evil ex Gideon) always manages to string out a few laughs.
The predictable ending should have been sickly sweet to say the least but it’s far from that. I was annoyed it was so predictable, when of course, I knew it would be.
Once in a while, you get a film where everyone freaks out about it and you aren’t really sure what the buzz was about. For me, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is that film.
Edgar Wright fans will gobble up these familiar jokes, and Michael Cera admirers will have a blast seeing him playing his age for once, but for the viewer who is a fan of neither of the two, toe tapping tunes and a too-short appearance from Jason Schwartzman are the things that will save you from the okay-ish movie.