Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Orion’s Take
“Wait, do I like this movie or not?”
It’s a curious feeling, precisely because it’s so hard to pin down. You want to like the movie. I know I did. But despite liking the movie, I couldn’t help but feel that this movie wasn’t that great.
Scott Pilgrim is your everyday 23-year-old, bass playing, crazy kung-fu wielding, heartbreaking young man. His current girlfriend, (a 17-year-old Catholic high school student) is the latest in a series of “fake” girlfriends that he is keeping close in order to keep himself from sinking into the pits of utter despair, which results from a bad breakup that occurred a little more than a year ago. His last “real” girlfriend is the lead singer of a band much awesomer than his own, and has even abandoned her old name in favor of the edgier “Envy.” Things are fine until Scott has a dream about a roller-skating girl with pink hair. Lo and behold, this roller-skater, a certain Ramona Flowers, soon enters his real life, at which point he is instantly infatuated. Unfortunately, dating this woman requires a certain dedication, as apparently he must fight her seven deadly exes in order to stay in the relationship (or alive, for that matter). Oh, and his band is also playing in an epic battle of the bands where the winner receives a contract with a major recording company. And also, he hasn’t quite managed to break up with his girlfriend yet.
If this sounds like a lot, it’s because it is a lot. One of the problems with this film is that there is simply too much to do. Squeaking by at under 2 hours is hard when you have to set up seven battles (actually only six, since two exes are twins) and also set up character development.
However, something must be said for the battles themselves, which impress merely because they are at once absurd and amusing. Scott Pilgrim fights, outwits, and destroys his competition with aplomb, managing to keep the viewer’s attention through six major fights. Though it is sometimes very obvious when his stunt double enters, it is still amusing to watch this nerdy kid take on a legion of action star doubles, for example, or engage in a bass battle with a god-like vegan.
This movie is also quite funny. There is a good range of jokes: there are raunchy jokes, bathroom jokes, clean(-ish) jokes. The movie itself doesn’t take itself too seriously, pushing the boundaries of what the audience views the in-film world, and using these modified expectations to employ visual gags that set the theater laughing.
The weirdness of this movie comes in the sometimes very adult themes that arise in a world that is seemingly a pre-teen paradise. The plot itself is almost noxiously sweet, filled with the kind of preachy morals that one might expect from a Disney sequel, but the characters that inhabit the plot are filled with very adult vices: sex, drinking, and cheating. So what to make of this film as a whole?
Though I really did enjoy this movie (it’s a blast) I feel like the movie had too many flaws (one of them being an overly simple plot) that prevents it from being a really good movie.
I Love Waffles,