Thursday, September 09, 2010

Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim is a different sort of movie…and that is a good thing. It’s hard to find uniquely original movie going fare in this day and age outside of cool developments in special effects for action films. Maybe that’s why I like Scott Pilgrim so much, it’s an indie comedy love story (think (500) Days of Summer) mixed with the martial arts and action of Hero. Now, I just realized that description was pretty horrible. Who would want to see a film like that? What works is that the filmmakers, cast and crew all wear the clichés that come with romance and action flicks on their sleeve, and there is a lot going for a film that a) doesn’t take itself too seriously and b) everyone’s in on the same joke.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is about…you guessed it Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera). He’s a loafer nerd (can he play anything else) who for some reason gets a lot of interesting girls interested in him despite the fact that he’s not very interesting. He falls head over heals with his ‘dream girl’ and spends the rest of the film wooing her by having to defeat her seven evil exes who happen to all know martial arts and be way above Scott in terms of success and looks. Its kind of hard to imagine that alternative nymphet Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) would actually want anything to do with Scott, but I guess that’s part of the charm, maybe all she wants is a normal relationship without all the expectations that come from so overly possessive significant others.

The real story behind this whole movie is how Scott deals with dating Ramona and breaking up with his old High School age girlfriend Knives Chow (played by the iridescent Ellen Wong). Here is where the writing is at its best and that is a real compliment since the films strength is based on the script. It explores the angst, turmoil and puppy love we have all felt at some point in our life regarding exes and lovers and everyone else that comes in between. The banter between Knives and Scott is beyond adorable except when it is sickening and no matter how hard you try…there is always going to be someone hurt in a breakup. How you deal with it is another matter. Knives loyalty and spontaneous enthusiasm ignite an otherwise Dull Cera.

The casting I must say was sheer Genius. It’s not every day that the lead actors are upstaged so dramatically by everyone else in the film. The Exes go a little over the top, but look for Kieran Culkin and Anna Kendrick (she may redeem herself from Twilight) to drop some choice one-liners and zany advice. The special effects are 80’s Atari tacky, which bodes well for its Indy cred and somewhat lean the gamer audience towards a bygone era. These are the fight games that I remember from Sega and Atari, not your Xbox 360 type shenanigans, and that is just fine with me.

I read an article that talks about why nobody goes and sees different movies anymore, and yet sit and complain about all the bile that Hollywood spews forth. Well, here is your chance to do something about it even though I have a feeling that this film may not even be in theaters anymore. I guess that goes to prove that what makes little gems valuable is how rare they truly are.

Final Consensus:
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother

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