tek's rating:

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (PG-13)
IMDb; official website; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Universal; Wikipedia

Caution: spoilers.

So this is like based on a sort of OEL manga, which I've never read, but I really totally want to someday. I think I was maybe sort of vaguely aware of it before the movie, like I happened to see it in the comic shop or whatever, and thought it looked cool. But I never got around to getting it. And when the movie was coming out, I really thought maybe I should read the comics first. But I didn't. Then I totally missed my chance to see the movie in the theater, in 2010. I usually don't manage to see movies in the theater. But around the time it came out, I did see an animated short, Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation, which was on adult swim. I didn't see it on TV, as far as I recall now in 2012, but I did see it on adult swim's website, where you can still watch it if you want. Also I think it's on the blu-ray, but I got the DVD, so... that doesn't really help me. Anyway, the animation is like a prequel to the movie. It's set several years earlier, when Scott Pilgrim was in high school.

In the movie, he's 22 years old. And he lives in Toronto. And he plays bass in a band called Sex Bob-omb. And he's dating a 17-year-old high school girl named Knives Chau. But he has a dream about another girl, and then he sees that girl in real life, so of course he wants to start dating her. Because she's the girl of his dreams. Get it? But he doesn't want to break up with Knives, because... it's hard. What else? He has a gay roommate named Wallace. And an 18-year-old sister named Stacey (who disapproves of pretty much everything Scott does). And the drummer in the band is Kim Pine, who is one of Scott's ex-girlfriends. Anyway, eventually Sex Bob-omb enter a battle of the bands (which will take place over several nights). And Scott begins dating the girl from his dreams, an American named Ramona Flowers. But it turns out she has seven evil exes, each of whom Scott will have to defeat in battle. Oh, and I should mention that Scott is played by Michael Cera, who is pretty much perfect in the role.

It's a really weird and awesome movie, starting with the opening Universal logo and theme. Awesome. Um, so the movie is pretty much like a cross between a video game and a comic book, with its visuals and whatnot. And it's confusing because scenes shift sometimes without any segue, like time will have passed and Scott seems to have little or no idea what time it is or what's happened in the interval which we don't see. It's funny that all the completely normal stuff that happens seems to take him just as much by surprise as does all the totally redonkulous, surreal stuff that happens. In fact I might almost say the normal stuff is more confusing to him than the surreal stuff. It's also odd that he's inexplicably so good at fighting (possibly he acquired real world skills by playing DDR and video games). What else can I say? At one point while watching the movie, I thought to myself, "There is absolutely no chance that anyone who loves The Guild won't also love this movie." (Even though this movie is quite different from that web series. I dunno, I just think they have almost identical sensibilities, okay? Except, not. But kinda.) I'm probably going to think of random things to say, at random times, but that's okay. Um, Scott is very awkward and insecure and seems pretty disconnected and oblivious and his reactions to things seem wrong, or at least out of sync... like it can take him awhile before he realizes how he should be reacting. And once he does, he probably won't maintain focus for very long. Seriously, this movie is like the ultimate validation of the theory that video games will desensitize people to real life and give them short attention spans. Or it would be if it weren't so AWESOMELY REDONKULOUS.

Other characters! There's a girl named Julie, who used to date Stephen, the singer from Sex Bob-omb. Julie pretty much shows up everywhere the main characters go, apparently because she has a ton of jobs. But mainly she seems to be around to express how much she disapproves of absolutely everything about Scott, for some reason. There's also a guy named Neil, who constantly hangs with the band. Also there's a girl named Natalie, but she goes by the name "Envy," and she sings in a successful band called The Clash at Demonhead. She's another one of Scott's ex-girlfriends. As for Ramona's exes, they include a guy named Matthew Patel, an action star named Lucas Lee (who Wallace has a crush on), a guy named Todd Ingram (who also happens to be the bassist for The Clash at Demonhead, and Envy's current boyfriend), a ninja girl named Roxy Richter (played by Mae Whitman, of whom I'm a fan from various other things, and who voiced a different character in Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation), a pair of twins named Kyle and Ken Katayanagi (musicians who face off against Sex Bob-omb at the battle of the bands), and finally, a guy named Gideon (who owns the Chaos Theatre in New York, and opens another one in Toronto, and sponsors the battle of the bands apparently, offering a record deal to whoever wins, and who also formed the League of Evil Exes).

But, you know... it's all pretty complicated. Knives eventually wants revenge, after Scott finally dumps her. And um... I dunno. It's just an awesome movie with awesome music and awesome visuals and it's totally crazy and hilarious and the girls are all cute and stuff. (The tagline on posters was "an epic of epic epicness," and that's not hyperbole.) Also I chose the perfect night to watch the movie because I coincidentally felt compelled to use the word "surreal" in my review, as you may have noticed, after having earlier in the day written a chapter of my book in which the characters play a game called "Surreal." I'm pretty sure I would have used that word in this review no matter when I wrote it, though. And oh yeah, my book is called "the Chaos," and as I mentioned, Gideon owns the Chaos Theatre. And I'm pretty sure there was at least one other thing about the movie that reminded me of my book or like, the chapter I was writing today, but I forget what. Maybe I'm wrong. It's possible I'm thinking of the time Gideon used the word "Guild" instead of "League," some time after I had thought of comparing the movie to "The Guild." I dunno.

No wait. It's the next day now and I remembered. It's something Kim did at one point, that reminded me of Tom's turn in the first round of Surreal.


comic book movies