Last night, Nicole and I ventured off to Fort Wayne to look at crafty wedding items, eat dinner, and see a movie. That movie was Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. This happened to be the completely wrong choice for Nicole, since she was suffering from having slept only 2 hours the previous night, and wasn’t feeling very well either. Bad fiance moment on my part, for sure, and general tip: don’t take a suffering girlfriend to a movie with extremely loud music, explosions, and lots of pretty flashing lights that may or may not induce seizures. Also called common sense, which I lack.
As for me, here’s the short version of the review:
If you’re under the age of 30, the movie is pure awesome exploding into the movie atmosphere like an awesome comet, and should be viewed immediately.
If you’re between the ages of 30 and 45, it’s a fun movie with a sweet romantic story wrapped up in a huge, video game related metaphor. The movie is loud, flashy, and chaotic, but it’s also genuinely funny and worth seeing.
If you’re over 45, don’t bother unless you actually liked the previews. It’s a movie targeted toward a particular generation raised with insane postmodernism, and it is probably going to go over the heads of anyone who doesn’t have at least a minimal knowledge of what is Final Fantasy or Zelda.
Long version time:
For those who haven’t been subjected to the confusing advertising campaign (the international trailer above is probably the most cohesive one), Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a movie by Edgar Wright, the British guy who made Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, based on an indie comic book/manga called Scott Pilgrim. Scott Pilgrim is a Canadian slacker who plays in a band, balances his time between being an oblivious jerk and a nice guy, and has just started dating a high school girl, even though he’s 22. Soon, though, he meets the girl of his dreams, literally, because she was using his head as a subspace shortcut, which causes the League of Evil Ex-Boyfriends to attack one by one....
If you’re still interested, then this movie is probably right for you. The entire premise is really using video game battles and tropes as a background for real relationship and personal issues. Each ex fight is just a representation of the baggage brought into new relationships, literal battle scars that must be dealt with, and when Scott “levels up,” he’s also growing as a person.
The movie meshes video games, music, and hipster culture beautifully, and manages to feel like a cohesive experience even as styles and art shift scene to scene. What really holds everything together is the great cast, highlighted by Kieran Culkin as Scott’s gay best friend and roommate. I now want a Culkin following me around all the time, sarcastically commenting on everything. Michael Cera plays his usual character, but it works well since he has to make an often jerky character seem likable still.
My favorite part of the movie, after Culkin perhaps, has to be the music and art direction. Much of the music was written by Beck, and most of the songs are awesome garage punk that make me wish the fictional band Sex Bob-Omb was real. The entire movie somehow makes Toronto, Canada seem like a magical place grounded in the real world, with even the shabbiest apartment seeming completely charming. Then there are the battles, all of which are spectacular, including one between two dragons and a giant beast of rock and roll. They’re beautiful in their design and art, and alone make me want to see the movie again.
I’m sure the movie isn’t perfect, and I could come up with some criticisms if I thought hard about it. Its biggest problem is that it doesn’t try to appeal to a wider audience, but at the same time, that’s probably why the movie works so well. It’s an epic movie about seemingly non-epic things that are personally epically important, and that’s what makes it beautiful.
-----------Nixon Segretti Productions