Did Scott Pilgrim Beat the World?
An in depth review of Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Did Scott Pilgrim Beat the World?
That is what we are here to find out. This is really a movie for someone who grew up in the late 80’s and the 90’s. it is full of subtle, and not so subtle pop culture references that few people outside of generation X will get.
The movie follows the story of the comic to a T, this is probably one of the most accurate comic book adaptations I’ve seen yet. More so even than Kick Ass in some regards.
The plot is relatively simple. 23 year old Scott Pilgrim is dating a teenager named Knives Chau, she’s a Chinese Catholic schoolgirl with the outfit and everything. Don’t worry, they don’t do it, they barely hold hands.
Scott begins having weird dreams about this girl skating through his head, and eventually he meets her and stalks her until he finds out she works for Amazon.com.
So he does the natural thing and orders a package, and waits by the door for it.
Lets get to the cast, shall we? This may have been the best cast comic book adaptation yet, I will rank it up there with the Watchmen or The dark Knight as far as the cast goes. I’m not saying that these actors are on the same level as the likes of Gary Oldman or Morgan Freeman, I’m saying that they were absolutely perfect for their parts.
I’ll start off with the weakest point here, Michael Cera as Scott.
Cera plays Cera in every movie he’s in, except for Youth in Revolt, there he played Cera with a mustache. But surprisingly Cera works for the character. He isn’t who I would have cast for Scott, but he actually does a good job in the role. He owned the role, I’m honestly reaching for something to complain about for his performance.
The other lead was Mary Winstead as Ramona Flowers. She came across as very aloof and distant, more so than her comic book counterpart. I believe this to be because of the emotional baggage that she is carrying around. She was good, but this is probably the weakest performance I’ve seen her give. It didn’t feel like they used her to her full potential.
The real strength of the film is the supporting cast, everyone in its large cast was perfectly, and many of them stole the scenes from Cera and Winstead.
We’ll start with Scott’s band members in Sex Bob-Omb
Alison Pill as Kim Pine Mark Webber as Stephen Stills Johnny Simmons as Young Neil
Pill had little more than one facial expression throughout the movie, but it was perfect, her glare seemed to have leapt from the pages of the comics. Her constant deadpan remarks on the events of the film were always welcome.
Webber played Steven Stills a bit more energetic than the comic version, but it was pretty good overall.
Simmons was hilarious as Young Neil, the group’s groupie/ alternate band member.
The rest of the minor characters got much less screen time than they did in the book, especially Stacey Pilgrim, played here by Anna Kendrick, and Julie Powers, played by Aubrey Plaza. Both gave good performances overall, and both got their best lines and scenes from the comic.
All of the 7 evil exes were great,
Satya Bhabha as Matthew Patel, Ramona's first evil ex who has mystical powers.
He had what was probably my favorite fight in the movie. He is singing, using his mystical powers to create a half dozen evil demon hipster chicks to back him up in the fight, and sing back up as well.
Chris Evans as Lucas Lee, Ramona's second evil ex and a action movie star. He probably had the most random fight in the movie, made random by the fact that it was the least random in the movie. I only hope he doesn’t do his Christian Bale Batman voice in Captain America.
Brandon Routh as Todd Ingram, Ramona's third evil ex who has telekinetic powers as a result from his all Vegan diet and is the bass player of the band The Clash at Demonhead. He's also the current boyfriend of Scott's ex-girlfriend, "Envy" Adams. He is probably the most evil ex second only to Gideon. He is a complete dick, who goes out of his way to prove that he is not above hitting a girl. It was weird to see Routh in a role like this. But his showdown with Scott in an awesome bass battle.
Mae Whitman as Roxanne "Roxy" Richter, Ramona's fourth evil ex, a self-conscious half-ninja. She was probably the oddest fight in the movie, but had the funniest death, as well as the weirdest… never mind I really want to make an orgasm joke, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
Shota Saito and Keita Saito as Katayanagi brothers, Ramona's fifth evil and sixth evil exes. They are Japanese pop stars. They battle Scott and his band in a battle of the amps that is bad ass.
And last but not least, Jason Schwartzman as Gideon Gordon Graves, Ramona's seventh evil ex, and evil mastermind behind the League of Evil Exes. He got the most screen time of the exes. The big battle with him was amazing, I can’t comment on it in respect ot the book, because I only read the series through Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe and don’t know if they released another book yet. But Schwartzman was a good final boss.
I saved my favorite two cast members for last. They are of course Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells and Ellen Wong as Knives Chau.
Culkin was absolutely perfect as Wallace. I was honestly surprised by his performance. He had the best lines and stole every scene he was in. he probably gave the best performance of the film.
I was honestly worried when I saw the movies advertising, I never once saw a trailer featuring her, or even heard her name spoken in conjuncture with the film. She is my favorite character from the book, and when I found out she was being played by an unknown, cast primarily for her black belt in teakwood. But, damn, was I wrong. Wong was great. She was true to the comic and even brought a bit more humanity and emotion to the role, which really made you feel for her. I was a bit mad that they did not film her and Ramona’s fight in the mall though, it was one of my favorite scenes from the book. But she got to kick ass later.
The movie was loaded with references to classic Nintendo, with everything from songs from the Zelda series to Scott actually playing a song from Final Fantasy 2 on his bass. The fight scenes looked like a cartoon version of mortal combat or street fighter.
This is one of the few films that manage to be campy, yet good. The film actually has bams and pows that seemed ripped from the pages of the comics, hell even the music gets visuals for its sound effects. Anything that makes a noise in the film gets a THUNK or a WHAM on the screen. It’s like the Adam West Batman movie, but good!
You can get away with saying that they actually brought the comic to life.
If you’ve read Scott Pilgrim, then you know that music is a very important component to the story, and the movie is no different.
The soundtrack for this movie is the best in a CBM since Watchmen. Hell, even the Universal Studios logo got Pilgrimfied and turned into a classic 8-bit Nintendo style opening, complete with a Mario esque cover of the traditional theme.
The music is a character itself in the film, many a scene only succeeded because the music exemplified the manic and over exaggerated tone of the film.
The soundtrack done by Beck and Nigel Godrich was great, the original songs for the film were great, as was the soundtrack by Godrich.
Overall, the movie is a manic, over exaggerated ,mess. And I mean all of that in the best way possible, the movie is not for everyone, but it is hilarious, anyone will find something to laugh at. I highly recommend it.
I give it seven evil exes out of seven.
(PS) I was going to do a video review, but I have something else pretty cool planned.
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