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Scott Pilgrim vs the World

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Based on the hit graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim vs The World is half a movie and half a video game that the audience can’t play. I was first introduced to the graphic novel by one of my friends and fellow critics, Nate and I just finished volume two when I went to see the movie. Something that immediately caught my attention about the movie was the length of the credits. Normally, the credits for a movie last a few moments or are just part of the movie as the plot proceeds. In this movie, however, they get their own sequence as they list pretty much everyone who is going to be starring in the movie as well as some of the people who made it possible. As you can probably guess this lasts for a significant amount of time. One could probably read the whole Scott Pilgrim series while the credits were rolling. The credits are also presented with some loud obnoxious music in the background while the actual credits though colourful and creative almost gave me a seizure! Though truthfully it was a nice change from the usual way credits are done – so no real complaints.

The characters, I again, have no real problems with. When I heard Michael Cera had been cast as Scott Pilgrim, it was like Jerry Lewis had been cast as Jack Sparrow. Scott Pilgrim is supposed to be cool, a tiny bit cocky, and a pure example of teenage angst within a twenty-three year old’s body (in the movie Scott Pilgrim is 22 – not sure why they did this…). Did Michael Cera in the end live up to the Scott Pilgrim we all know from the graphic novel? Well…not exactly!! The Scott in this movie isn’t as cocky or cool, and when he tries to be it comes off as being a little bit awkward. Still we do get a few scenes when he is genuinely intimidating. Never in my life have I ever been intimidated by Michael Cera. No major complaints about the character, it’s just really Scott Pilgrim ‘Cerafied’.

Ramona is lot more deadpan in the movie than in the graphic novel where she is a lot more energetic. I didn’t mind as much and she fit to the character extremely well. Wallace is funny in both movie and the graphic novel and that is probably what I would say for a lot of these characters --like Knives, Stephen Stills, Kim, Young Neil, etc.

As for the “evil ex’s” I’ll just make a list of what I thought. #1 Really funny guy, loved his random dance, my favourite fight scene. #2 Nothing like the book but who’s complaining. #3 Apparently being vegan gives you god-like powers – which is cool but I think I’ll stick with bacon! #4 An epic fight scene with some really bad puns....#5 Didn’t have any lines but looked really cool. #6 Same. #7 God, how I love this guy. He’s by far the most interesting of the exes. Mostly because they try to portray him as a nice guy in the first conversation the viewer sees – which somehow just makes us hate him more. Not to mention, he has a really cool swordfight with Scott – though not before Scott makes it clear that for the first time in the movie he is fighting for himself. This gives him the power of self-respect which makes the hilt of a Samurai sword appear out of his chest – which when he pulls it out it bursts into purple flame…what? It happens!

Something that really got me about the movie were the personalities of the characters. Mostly because when you get down to it we’ve all met somebody like them before. Even though all their personalities seem kind of generic I can instantly think of someone that each one of these characters reminds me of. I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I live in Canada. We’re a crazy bunch up in the great white north. But seriously, this is another thing that I felt like came right out of the graphic novel. They seem like real people. Their relationships are more real than a typical Hollywood portrayal and they act exactly how real people would probably act. Because let’s face it if you found out the girl you were in love with had seven evil exes you had to defeat in mortal combat in order to be with her, you would probably take them all down in exaggerated kung fu fights, guitar battles, cybernetic swordfights and participate in a battle of the bands while two dragons that breathe icy wind fight a green combo of King Kong and the Tasmanian devil. At least us Toronto guys would.

That is just the thing about graphic novels. They really spark your imagination. We can believe in ludicrous things, like a twelve year old boy who wants to be a ninja and can make clones of himself, while having a demon stored inside of him. Or a seventeen year old boy who can stretch his body like rubber and set off on a ship that looks like a lion to become king of the pirates. Maybe that’s why the film was so entertaining, maybe that’s why graphic novels are so entertaining. Just because of those ludicrous ideas that we find so entertaining. Or maybe it is because of the hidden morals that you actually have to look for to see. In Scott Pilgrim vs The World the underlying moral is about growing up and taking responsibility - like when Scott reconciles with Knives and Ramona at the end of the movie. Or maybe it’s just because we like to see Michael Cera face off against a vegan with psychic powers in a bass guitar battle.

This is Dr Nova saying that there is a fine line between insanity and a stable mind, but in order to truly enjoy life you have to spend it in the middle.





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