Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was one of those movies that I just saw the preview and said, "That looks retarded. Pass." Then the reviews came in. Despite fairly low box office receipts, Scott Pilgrim was pretty well received and anyone who had seen it for the most part was singing praises about it like no tomorrow. I shrugged and thought, "Hey, it wouldn't be the first movie to have its box office intake hurt from a badly cut trailer. Maybe I'll watch it eventually." Well, now I've had the chance to watch the film and see what all the fuss was about. All I can say is...well, "Why did this film get such good reviews?"
For those of you who don't know, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a live action adaptation of the series of Scott Pilgrim graphic novels. Somehow Universal Studios managed to cram six novels into one movie. The whole story is that Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), a twenty-some year old, is dating a high school student (Ellen Wong) when he starts dreaming about some hipster girl that he finds out is the new girl in town and immediately tries to get with her. However, it is soon discovered that Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has some serious baggage, as in seven evil exes that Scott not only has to fight, but defeat in order to keep their relationship in order. Flashy and distracting onscreen graphics soon follow.
Well, I'm happy Scott Pilgrim gets it, because I sure as fuck don't.
*sigh* Okay, where do I start? I guess I'll start with the cast. I honestly can no longer tolerate Michael Cera. Not after this movie. I could get through him in Superbad (although the second viewing didn't fare nearly as well), but after Scott Pilgrim, it'll be a miracle if I watch a movie with him in it and I don't hit the "fast forward" button. Ten minutes into the flick, I just wanted to punch his teeth down his throat. All he does in this movie is just whine and be selfish just to feed his own lust. Yeah, sound fucking familiar?! The rest of the main cast is just there, for the most part. Not that Wong, Winstead or anyone else's performance was poor or anything, but they didn't jump out. The ones that did stand out were Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans & a brief cameo from Thomas Jane. Once Evans & Jane were gone, I asked myself, "Wait, why am I still watching this?"
I still want to know how they managed to rope The Goddamned Punisher into this movie.
Next up is the action scenes. While the fights do have pretty good choreography, everything else about them is absolutely absurd. All of Ramona's exes have all of these weird powers that the film just throws at you out of left field. Perhaps there's an explanation for these powers in the comics, but as a casual viewer, I've never read the comics or even heard of them before this movie came out, so a little exposition as to why people can do these sort of thing would've certainly helped the movie. The film does not establish this kind of thing possible prior to the first ex battle and when Scott goes from whiny little guy to suddenly knowing Street Fighter physics-based combat in 2.5 seconds, I didn't know what kind of movie Scott Pilgrim was trying to be. Seriously movie, you can't throw this kind of shit at us out of nowhere and just expect us to go along with it. You have to establish this kind of thing possible before completely bombarding us with it. Hell, as stupid as The Last Airbender was, at least I could buy that those kind of powers were possible in that world, but not here. There's also a total cop out in the fight with Chris Evan's character where Evans has his stunt team (he plays a movie star) start whaling on Cera as he goes for a latte. He turns around and somehow Cera has topped all six guys with no showing (or hearing, for that matter) of how he did it. Fuck. You.
Out of all of the villains, this one was the best.
There's also a fight with Brandon Routh (yeah, Superman, Captain America & The Punisher all in the same movie) where Routh's character is a socially awkward Vegan with super powers (*facepalm*) and he has to explain one of his threats to Scott. I literally shouted at the television, "SHUT THE FUCK UP AND FIGHT!!!" They then proceed to have a bass guitar battle and not one of them has the gull to bust out some Motorhead. Son, I am disappoint. The movie continues on in a frustrating fashion, including a scene where Ramona's female ex attacks and Ramona pulls out a giant sledgehammer out of her purse. Clearly, she is the more interesting character. Can we get a film of Scott Pilgrim vs The World Origins: Ramona? I'd actually like to see that, because it would've been better than this one!
There is a tease in this movie that is just as bad or worse than the one in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen where Michael Cera gets killed and is stuck in limbo, but since he got an extra life from an earlier performance (this film tries to smother you in video game references. A few here and there is fine, but why the suffocation, guys?), he actually escapes limbo, goes back to before the final battle and wins. Weak. Prior to this fight, Cera's former bandmates say, "Scott, don't fight him! Don't give him the satisfaction!" To which Scott replies, "But what if I want the satisfaction?" Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it you wanting to keep your satisfaction...uh, satisfied that got you into this damn mess from the get-go?! Then once the fight's done, there's a Nega-Scott that appears and Scott's all like, "I need to face this one myself" and you think there's gonna be an awesome fight where Scott realizes what makes him tick and defeats any wrong-doing feelings he may have to become a true man and better person and what have you, then it cuts to Scott & Nega-Scott saying "See ya" to each other after they just shoot the shit.
NegaDuck does not approve of your cheap bullshit, Nega-Scott.
The last thing that just pisses me off about this movie is its need to remind people every five minutes that its based on a comic book with all of these flashy and heavily distracting sound effect graphics and split panel shots that just seem to pour out and clutter the shots, making it difficult to watch. Yes, we get it. You're a comic book movie, but that doesn't mean that you have to include a bunch of flashy gimmick crap that makes you look like the comic. So long as the characters look like they did in the comic, or at least recognizable enough, you don't have to bludgeon this on our heads. You keep these but cut out potentially more interesting characters and exposition? Puh-lease!
Yeah, this crap. Get used to these, folks. The movie doesn't know how to use them sparingly.
Much like Sucker Punch, I wanted to give this movie the benefit of the doubt, but no, the what I thought were poorly cut trailers that I saw last summer for this film are a perfect representation of how Scott Pilgrim vs. The World pans out. It looked retarded, and it is retarded. I doubt that this film, like Last Airbender, will crack the Top 5 of my Worst Movies Ever list, but by that same token, there's just so many things about this movie that just annoyed me and made me come to the conclusion that this movie wouldn't end soon enough. Many were sickened that this movie tanked at the box office, but I for one am not surprised and even though it hurt the final film, I'm GLAD that they crammed all six Scott Pilgrim graphic novels into one film because I never, never, never ever want to see a sequel. Let Scott & Ramona boink so we can move on to greener pastures. Much, much greener pastures.