One of my Christmas gifts was a copy of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a movie of which the following are true:
- I heard a lot of good things about it.
- I wanted to see it but didn’t because I don’t get out much.
- A lot of people I know who are similar to me really enjoyed it.
- I am a nerd.
All right, so the fourth one is really true about me, but I think you can see where this is going. Having not read the books on which the movie is based, and currently being stuck on the fifth stage of the game that is not really based on the movie but is actually based on the books, I can say that I really, really enjoyed it.
Watching it was a bit of a “birthday eve” treat, and Amanda and I grabbed some dinner and sat down to watch it. She was a bit confused, and I will be the first person to admit that it moves really quickly and can be a bit hard to follow in some places. I would say not to let that prevent you from watching it. If you are remotely close to my age (which will be 31 tomorrow), you really should watch this movie—especially if you grew up with the second wave of video games like I did (meaning the NES and what followed).
The premise is simple. Scott Pilgrim is in love with Ramona Flowers. But first, he has to defeat her seven evil exes. (He does not know this right away.)
The execution of the movie elevates it to a certain level of awesome. It has a certain style that is part action film, part comic book, and part video game all rolled into one. It jump cuts from scene to scene, sometimes in mid-conversation. The narrative plays with your expectations: are these real events? Are they fantasy? Is Scott Pilgrim supposed to be a “real” person, or a character in a video game? Scenes move from reality to fantasy with reckless abandon.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter in any way more than that it’s entertaining and tells a fun and enjoyable story that doesn’t need reality to work. If you like video games or even have a passing familiarity with them, it relies on their various idioms and tropes to get its point across and delight you. The setpieces are what they need to be, the action is surprisingly well done, the soundtrack is right on the money, and the actors pull everything off just the way you need them to.
I know that it’s a self-contained story, won’t have a sequel, and was a gamble for Universal to back. Unfortunately, it seems not too many people went out to see a movie about life in Toronto (but who can blame them, really).
But it is worthy of your attention, and in my opinion is one of my Movies You Should See.