The Power of Rock

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I finally (finally) (FINALLY!) got off my lazy butt and watched this movie. I figure I won’t step on any toes if I review it now.

Basic plot: Scott Pilgrim is a Canadian slacker. He’s dating a high-schooler with the endlessly awesome name of Knives Chau! Until he meets the love of his life, Ramona Flowers. Standard angsty romance stuff. At least until Ramona’s evil exes start coming out of the woodwork to engage in video-game-inspired duels to the death with our hapless Canadian bass player. Can Scott defeat all seven of the exes? Can he win Ramona’s love? Can he master the Power of Love and the Power of Self-Respect?

Verdict: A great big fat thumbs-up. I’m really sorry I didn’t see this when it was in the theaters, ’cause that woulda been awesome.

Probably the only thing I didn’t like about this movie was that it wasn’t as insanely epic as the trailers made it out to be. But that’s a problem of my own expectations, not with the movie itself, which is a great big bucket of fun.

Of course, no movie is for everyone. Some people don’t like Michael Cera, ’cause he’s generally played the predictably dorky guy with a shaggy hairdo, but that works out pretty well in this one, ’cause Scott Pilgrim is supposed to be a dorky guy with a shaggy hairdo. If you’re not going to like movies that traffic heavily in video game jokes — like defeated enemies who turn into coins or being able to grab an extra life or power-up weapon from time to time — this may not be the movie for you. If you don’t like movies with over-the-top cartoon violence and stunts, there’s something wrong with you, but you probably won’t like this. If you don’t like movies with comic-book elements, like outlandish written sound effects or superpowers — well, I don’t know why you’re reading this blog, but this movie may not be for you either, you poor soul.

If all of that sounds awesome, then you’re probably going to enjoy this movie.

I can’t compare it to the comics — I haven’t finished reading all of them yet. I can tell you that there are some pretty big changes from the comic to the movie. Some elements are eliminated, some characters are combined or mixed together, but these don’t do too much damage to the final product. Lots of other reviewers have noted that Ramona’s story in the comic is a lot more important — there’s a complete storyarc for her, and she’s more than just The Girl Scott Pilgrim Loves — that’s probably a legitimate criticism, though I’m not sure how they would’ve squeezed more story into a feature-length movie already filled with a whole lot of plot.

I can tell you some of my very favorite bits. Every single bit of the fight with Matthew Patel is brilliant — it’s definitely the best fight in the movie, and it’s too bad they couldn’t re-create some of that mad energy for some of the other battles. I loved the animated sequences designed to look like Bryan Lee O’Malley’s artwork in the comics. I loved the Bass Battle, I loved “Ninja Ninja Revolution,” I loved all the hilarious background jokes. I even loved the way the Universal Studios theme was played as an 8-bit video game theme. And I loved the fact that Edgar Wright, director of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” is now three-for-three when it comes to awesome movies.

And the characters really are excellent. Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells, Alison Pill as Kim Pine, Mark Webber as Stephen Stills, Johnny Simmons as Young Neil, Brie Larson as Envy Adams, Chris Evans as Lucas Lee, Brandon Routh as Todd Ingram, Mae Whitman as Roxy Richter, and especially Ellen Wong as Knives Chau. Wong completely owns every scene she appears in, and I’m glad they expanded Knives’ role in the movie, just so we can see more of Ellen Wong acting awesome.

If you haven’t seen it yet, then you should definitely give it a watch. I loved the stuffin’ out of it.

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