23 February 2011

Movies: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446029/

Scott is a 23yr old bass player in his band "Sex Bob-omb", dates a 17yr old high school student named "Knives Chau", then meets the (literal) girl of his dreams Ramona.  He finds out the hard way he has to defeat Ramona's 7 evil exes in order to date her.  Adapted from a graphic novel series of the same name.

Directed by Edgar Wright - who brought us "Hot Fuzz" and "Shaun of the Dead". Which is the reason I watched this movie in the first place. He did well with those flicks IMO, so he got an instant-watch pass for this one.


The movie's "feel" is clearly video-game based with splashes of "comic book/graphic novel". And it works. It will definitely be recognizable to anyone in the agegroup that grew up playing video games.  Even to older folks like me, where half my childhood was set in pre-video game America, but I caught many of the references as well because I also grew up playing arcade games, and owned many home video game systems, since Pong and the Atari 2600 and so on.


There's tons of nods to video game/comic and 90s sitcom cultural references interlaced throughout the movie.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well it was all sewn together.  Great editing, great use of parallels between Scott's playing video games with Knives to Scott's having to battle the 7 evil exes. This flick makes heavy use of showing you things that get referenced or mirrored later in some manner - very few things shown the audience are throw-away.


The cast did really well. And the parts for the secondary and tertiary parts weren't throw-away 2-dimensional stereotypes -- there was actual character growth for most of Scott Pilgrim's supporting friend network. They could easily have left them all cardboard cutouts that wiggled around when needed for a scene (as many films seem to do), but instead they got fleshed out as well and contribute to Pilgrim's growth. Which really improved the movie IMO.


Is it a coming-of-age flick with sillyness and teen romance (seriously, Pilgrim is 23 but emotionally in high school so it counts as teen romance) or just a live-action comic book interpretation? Both and more -- sort of a result is greater than the sum of the parts.

As I said - I was pleasantly surprised - I figured I was probably too old for a movie that was this heavy into the videogame and comic book style references.

(original post 4 Jan 2011)

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