Saturday, November 20

Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

This movie is going to be my nostalgia. When I am old and smelly, this will be the movie I will play on my holodeck 3000 while telling my grandchildren about "the good old days". Even if this movie is not going to be wildly successful (and thus far, the box office seems like it isn't) it will probably still be a major inspiration to many filmmakers for years to come. And even if that fails, it can still claim its rightful place as one of the most daring and best attempts to capture the zeitgeist of the moment.

Scott Pilgrim himself is not exactly what you'd call a normal hero. One part of him is the charmingly incompetent hero we find in every romantic comedy, a role on which Micheal Ceras career was pretty much built. But his other part is an irresponsible, whiny, selfish, lazy hipster, who actively keeps up the image of being a lovable chump so that people won't judge him (props to Cera for taking his career in this direction and still delivering). Scotts plans seem to be working out pretty well: even though there is a whole lot of unspoken pain in his social circle, no-one seems to be to eager to bring this all down on him. He just lives his precious little life of playing in his shitty band Sexbo-bomb, playing videogames and living off his cool gay roommates money. Even when he starts dating a 17-year old (who is obviously deeply in love with him) because he wants "something simple", no-one really calls him out on it. Enter Ramona Flowers. Scott falls for her like a brick as soon as he sees her, but it turns out that just being the lovable chump won't work this time. Ramona has seven evil exes, whom Scott has to fight each one of them in order to win her heart.

Totally worth it, though

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World might not be what you expect of it. You see, while the battles are certainly there (and are certainly awesome), they are not really fights. They are metaphors for coming to terms with Ramonas past. Pilgrim himself is a massive nerd, and the way he makes sense of the world is the one he knows best: with video game logic. Coming to terms with his girlfriends past is just another achievement to get, the boyfriends just another row of baddies to plough through. And although it might seem like a bit of a gimmick, it actually gives the movie quite some depth. Making sense of the world in movie, video game or comic terms is something a lot of young men do these days (I do it all the time), so why not show their entire world working on that specific kind of logic? But the rest of the characters, and how they're portrayed, is also very reminiscent of young adults nowadays. Their dialogues, their relationships (both friendly and lovingly), how they spend their free time, which pop culture references they make... it's all spot-on.

But just because the movie is groundbreaking in many respects does not mean it doesn't have any weak points. The decision to adapt six comic books into one film (although probably a wise one since the chance on a sequel is nil) gives the film such a breakneck tempo that it's sometimes hard to keep up. The supporting cast is also a lot less fleshed out then in the comics, which is a shame because it's an incredibly solid one (I <3 Kim Pine). But the biggest disappointment to me was the soundtrack. Even if you take out of the occasion that it's Beck, Metric and Broken Social Scene (swoon) at work here, the songs are all generally meh. Only the track Black Sheep by Metric is in any way memorable. I know a part of it is supposed to suck on purpose, but c'mon Beck. I know you can do better.

But even though Scott Pilgrim vs. The World stumbles at times, this is more due to the fact that it tries too much then too little. It might not be a brilliant film, and in a decade it will probably just be as outdated as The Graduate now, but please don't let that stop you from watching it. This is a film that boldly captures todays young adults, and does it in a way that will very much appeal to those people. Namely, this way:

I don't care if he's supposed to be the bad guy, I WANT THAT JACKET

This movie deserves more then just becoming a cult film. Definitely worth seeing. 


Video games.


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