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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

The young women characters make this comic-book adaptation really fly


Blue Crush: When punkette Mary Elizabeth Winstead has a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 8/13/2010

Michael Cera is annoying and probably way too old for his voice to change from that strangulated emo flatness he employs, so now heís double annoying as this shaggy-haired Scott Pilgrim character who wears ringer T-shirts with cool ironic crap on them. And he is unemployed and has blazed his way through many of the available girls known to him in his location of Toronto, Canada—which might as well be Greenscreen, Anywhere, but it seems to be real important for the movie to keep reminding us itís in Canada. Anyway, what an asshole, and somebody should punch him in his smug-ass face, and thatís why more than anything else Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the feel-good, comic-book movie/video-game dance-dance revolution, overaged-teenage romantic comedy of the summer. With more than a bit of the old ultra-violence.

Scott Pilgrim is dating a high school girl (Ellen Wong as, er, Knives Chau) because he is a loser. But then he has a dream, and this movie has way better dream sequences than that stupid Inception movie, as in: more like actual dreams. And he meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a chick with pink—no, wait, green; no, wait, blue; no, wait, purple—hair. And he falls in LOL with her and canít wait for some ROTFL, but sheís not easy: Her seven evil exes take exception to any new romances and he must fight them. And now the ass-kicking good times begin.

Donít worry about not getting all the jokey refs to gaming and comic books and manga and anime and piles of other shit you are too busy to care about in minute detail if at all, because this movie is just plain fun, jammed with all kinds of extra business and wacky sound effects made out of sound (and also word-pictures like a comic book) and loving attention to the nerdliest of details that have the potential to cuteness-overload but will serve to maximize your entertainment dollar and force your eyes wide open to keep up with the action. This flick also features a fanboy-fistful of fecund females, such as Alison Pill, Kristina Pesic, and the deadly deadpan Aubrey Plaza, who makes hate fun. Itís kinda lame that all the ladies in the movie—except his sister Stacey (Anna Kendrick)—revolve around Scott Pigrim, since they are way cooler than he is and should just go have their own awesome movie. But all the estrogen is also why this movie wins, and as much as we donít like Scott Pilgrim, he doesnít matter. Heís a vessel. Heís Super Mario Jesus Donkey Kong, going to the next level for our sins again and again along with his apostles such as gay roommate/bedmate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) and Mark Webber as Stephen Stills (har), the leader of the band Scott Pilgrim is in called Sex Bob-omb, yet another element contributing consistent comedy content (and super-fuzzy low-frequency jams) to the mega-hyper-energetic pacing of the story—which also, of course, features a battle of the bands and more geekly joke-refs than you can shake an effects pedal at. And so while we get all schadenfreude-y watching him getting kick-assed (just like in that Mel Gibson Jesus movie) eventually a real Bad Guy (Jason Schwartzman) shows up and then itís really game on.

E-mail Joe MacLeod

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