(early) Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim vs the World

It’s after 4 am, woke up from a nap I probably shouldn’t be taken.  What is there to do?  Ah yes, movie review.  I always planned on it being early, because tomorrow I’m going to be out of town doing grownup things (aka apartment hunting).  TV Review on Wednesday should go on its scheduled time.

Without further ado, here’s the review.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a movie based on a six volume graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O Malley.  He’s actually been around the internet for a good while with his art website, Radiomaru.  I used to be (well, still am) a big lurker in art forums, and I think he used to be in the Pendako one.  Kapolo?  I can’t remember.   First and foremost, I’m not going to compare the movie to the novels, because the movie does NOT do the novels justice.

Let’s begin.  Toronto native Scott Pilgrim just started “dating” Knives Chau, who was still in high school.  He was in the band Sex Bob-omb with two friends, Kim Fields and Stephen Stills.  His life changes forever when he dreamt of a brightly haired girl on rollerblades, discovered she was real and that her name was Ramona Flowers.  He jumped at the opportunity to hang out with her, but he still was leading on Knives.  He did not know what he was getting into with Ramona, when one of her seven evil exes, Matthew Patel, crashed a gig that Sex Bob-omb was playing.  Scott defeated Patel, but he learned it’d be an uphill fight to date the girl of his dreams.

Okay, the best thing about Scott Pilgrim is the cast.  They’re extremely appropriate for the roles, especially Kieran Culkin (yes, brother to Macaulay, and more recent Rory, but Kieran has been a legit actor for decades) as Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells, and Aubrey Plaza as Stephen’s bitter ex-girlfriend Julie Powers.  Yes, I can admit even hipster fave Michael Cera was perfect as Scott.  My favorite casting HAS to be Brandon Routh as evil ex #3 Todd Ingram.  Routh is hilarious as a vegan with psychic abilities and a mean bass player.  Chris Evans, as evil ex #2 Lucas Lee, a skateboarder turned action hero, is a close second.

Another reason why the movie is great is because it was directed by Edgar Wright, who directed one of my favorite TV shows, Spaced, and also two awesome movies, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.  It wasn’t written as well as it deserved to be, but it sure was directed well.  It follows a lot of the nerd format that made the novels so popular, with video game and popular culture references galore and some visual connection to the novels themselves, which is also why the movie did so poorly in the box office despite critical success.  This is an inside joke movie, so if you’re not a fan of:  the novels, video games, or Michael Cera, you will not like this film.  It’s also an age precise movie, so you can easily be too young or too old for it.  There are great visuals, good fight scenes, and an awesome soundtrack, but they do not mean a thing if the movie has such a small demographic.

As a big fan of the novels, I am a little disappointed with Scott Pilgrim, but as a movie fan, I thought it’s very well done.  It is a shame the mainstream appeal does not match the acclaim, but I can understand why it didn’t do well.  It’s real hard to get into something if you’re unfamiliar, and it’s also easy to write off a movie that you have to do your homework beforehand.  There are many movie to book adaptations that are successful, mainly the Harry Potter series, but it’s because they appeal to all ages.  This is only for a certain group of nerds and 20 somethings.

Would I recommend this?  If you’re a fan of the novels, video games, or Michael Cera, then yes.  If you haven’t read the novels, PLEASE DO.  They have the same feeling as the movie, but the characters are much more fleshed out and there are things omitted from the movie that make the novels so much better.


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