Nov 8, 2010

[Movies] Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)Canada is not exactly a place we know as a source of talent or creativity. And it's not because they lack any of that - it's a natural consequence of being the country right next to the huge-ass United States of America that tends to be heck of a lot louder about achievements but of course not necessarily any better.
Yeah, I'm mean. I'm not sure if it's a gay thing or a geek thing. Probably both.

But there's a heck of a lot of fun, geeky things to be found with Canadian origins - and I'm not just talking about William Shatner and Alex Trebek. There are a wide variety of other actors, artists, toy designers and god knows what else. And best of all, there are comic book creators and all that fun stuff.

And then some of these comic books actually become movies. Now that's even cooler, especially when the movie is done rather well.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is the 2010 movie adaptation of the comic book series of the same name. The movie was directed by Edgar Wright and the original comic book series was created by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Michael Cera, canadian actor (MACBA, Barcelona).Image via WikipediaScott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is our hero of sorts the the bassist for a small independent band called Sex Bomb-omb together with Stephen Stills (Mark Webber) and Kim Pine (Alison Pill). Not exactly the most popular guy around, he's recently started dating a high school student named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Life seems good enough between the band, Knives and his gay roommate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) until he starts to dream of a mysterious rollerskating girl that he eventually bumps into.

Her name is Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and she's an American girl from New York. Thus develops a major attraction to her and starts to focus on finding a way to get her while slowing easing away from Knives. But as he starts to get closer to Ramona, he soon gets into a fight with Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha). It turns out he's the first of Ramona's seven evil exes that Scott will need to fight and defeat if he wants to date Ramona. Thus the movie follows his efforts to fight off the League of Evil Exes, keep up with the band and deal with the increasingly disturbing stalker behavior of Knives.

Points for the folks behind this particular movie - they certainly put a lot of effort into trying to capture the geeky feel of the comics. Thus there was all the campy overlay text, the many, many, many video game / cartoon / comic book references. And this ranges from dialog, t-shirt designs, elements in the background like posters and again with the floating overlay text and cheesy special effects. In this regard, very good show mister director!

I'm not totally sold on Michael Cera. Sure, he carries the role of sad little loser decently enough but it's not necessarily Scott Pilgrim, at least I feel that way. Sure, it worked for Juno and all that but Scott still had personality and zingers well in stock and Cera can only seem to do the whole hesitant speech thing that he always does. And thus I'm not totally sold on him as Scott and I doubt he'll ever grow on me in this particular character role. At least he's Canadian though.

And I felt that a lot of the casting wasn't quite there. Alison Pill interpreted Kim Pine's sauciness as monotone delivery in terms of all her lines. Thus it sort of cheapened the whole routine and it didn't go along well. And don't get me started on Kieran Culkin as Wallace just felt so wrong. Wallace was a lot more stylish and bitchy and Kieran just felt rather disturbing and creepy at times.

If anything, acting points need to go out to Ellen Wong who did a pretty killer job as Knives. Anna Kendrick was pretty fabulous as well in her under-developed role as Scott's sister Stacey. And in terms of the League of Evil Exes, the major moments of fun and frivolity definitely have to go to Chris Evans as Lucas Lee (complete with stunt double army) and Brandon Routh as Todd Ingram (yes, as the telekinetic vegan).

The movie had a good concept in mind in terms of how to tried to carry the whole Scott Pilgrim Toronto vibe. But at the same time it seemed to lack the right fire, spirit and spunk deep down to really make the movie feel like the perfect translation of the comic book series. But if you get away from the comic book side of things, it's still a heck of a fun movie and quite an entertaining head trip.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a fun campy celebration of geek culture with fun fights, awesome effects and lots and lots of geeky references just like I like'em. It gets 4 mystically summoned Demon Hipster Chicks out of 5.

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