Scott Pilgrim VS The World review
(Here’s a contest: Try to find as many references to music of the past 40 years as you can in all parts of this review. The references are mostly to rock music, old and recent, but can include songs and artists of other genres. Keep a list. If you find 100 references or more, you can consider yourself very knowledgeable in music. References can be song titles, album titles, band names or famous lines from songs. Good luck.)
THEY ARE SEX BOB-OMB, AND THEY ARE GONNA TURN YOUR WORLD UPSIDE-DOWN! ONE TWO THREE FOUR!
Scott Pilgrim VS The World is a movie about romance, rock, life, sex, comics, music, friendship, video games and fighting to the death. But, most of all, before being a movie, it was a comic book in six volumes. And before that, it was a song.
With the film’s release in 2010, it also became a video game, appropriately enough. The series had a large fanbase even before the film came out, and the film directed by Edgar Wright made many people wish they could read the comics. I hunted down the six volumes of the series so that I could read them… I found the first four. The fifth and sixth books couldn’t be found anywhere. Aw, damn. Still, it gave me a chance to read the story of Scott, and this also allowed me to compare the books to the movie. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do here: I’ll review the movie, but I’ll frequently compare with the first four books. I noticed that Edgar Wright tried to be as faithful as possible, cramming as many plot elements from the comics as he could into this 112-minute epic. Did he succeed? Let’s see.
P.S. Major spoilers. I suggest you watch the movie first. I'm gonna be revealing every major plot detail.
|Left to right: Scott Pilgrim, "Young" Neil Nordegraf, Kim Pine,|
Stephen Stills. Right to left: Who cares.
|Their style is so very electric it creates sparks.|
|He should ham it up a bit. That would be closer to the comics Scott's hothead|
tendencies. But what we got was still fine, so why should I complain?
|Not quite the new Modern Family.|
|Sigh. She's younger, yet she's the more mature of the two.|
She even has a JOB! ...Oh how I envy her.
On the next day, Scott goes get Knives at her Catholic school, and the two leave towards the arcade. They show a surprising degree of teamwork, especially when playing a two-player game. Next we see them at the music store, and yeah, before you ask, Scott is still frustrated over that failed relationship with Envy Adams, singer of The Clash At Demonhead. Just in case the repeated mentions of her name don’t make it obvious, she’ll have an important role later on.
That night, Scott dreams of himself, alone in a desert… still wearing his winter gear… and crying that he’s all alone. After which this owner of a lonely heart sees a pretty girl (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) pass by on roller skates, saying he isn’t actually alone… And he wakes up before this turns into a wet dream. Poor guy, can’t ever get lucky.
That next day, Scott goes to the library with Knives, and then he sees her. That girl from his dream. Pink hair, goggles, roller skates, a bag with a star on it. Such an iconic look cannot lie, doesn’t lie. Neither can these hips-Okay, my mind’s racing towards dirty again…
So Scott rehearses with his band some more, though his mind is somewhere else, and then the group (plus Neil) goes to a party held by Julie, Stephen’s on-and-off girlfriend, who I can only describe as a swearing bitch. Sorry. Here’s another way to put it: she’s as nice as a tiger with rabies. With a collar that shoots lasers. After the apocalypse. And radioactive. On the way to the bathrooms, Scott sees Michael Comeau (who apparently knows everyone. Including you.), and asks him about that pink-haired girl. It’s his lucky day, apparently, as she’s at that party.
He looks for her,
finds her, tries to flirt with her using a piece of video game trivia… and fails
spectacularly. Sorry Scott, you can’t always get what you want. Still, he
follows her until she leaves the party, then asks around about her. This way,
he learns that her name is Ramona Flowers, that she’s American, that she found
a job as delivery girl for Amazon.ca, that she’s single at the moment, and that
she has a dark past. Of course, Scott doesn’t let himself be discouraged by
this. He feels that deep inside, he is made for loving her…
|Well, Scott, better change your flirting techniques-|
Wait, what's a light switch doing so high up there?
And of course, once he confesses his crush on Ramona to Wallace, Scott gets some very important advice from him… and Stacey, because Wallace texted her. He better dump Knives if he wants to date Ramona. (Seriously, Wallace types faster than his own shadow, even in his sleep? Is there a thing he can’t do? …Aside from women, that is?) Oh yeah, and Stacey sends out a mass text about this. Just in case Scott doesn’t get in enough trouble already. On the next morning, Scott orders something off Amazon.ca and starts waiting for this dream girl. Yay for product placement allowing for a romance to bloom!
|Wouldn't be the last time it happens.|
|Good to see you're following the rules, Scott.|
The day ends on them at another Sex Bob-Omb rehearsal, where Stephen announces that they’re gonna participate to the Toronto International Battle of the Bands. I wish them good luck, though they need talent more than they need luck to win this one. On the next day, Scott receives his package from Amazon.ca, delivered by Ramona herself, and he manages to convince her to hang out with him.
|Well, in Canada, we know how to stay cool.|
For those unfamiliar with the original comic, Subspace acted like a pocket dimension, a portal of sorts that could let you cross “three miles in fifteen seconds”, as Ramona says. I don’t know what it means, we’re learning the metric system here, not the imperial. Subspace highways are apparently a common traveling method in the Scott Pilgrim-verse, in America at least; in Canada, they’re almost empty. Oh, and part of a Subspace highway passes through Scott’s head, and since it’s related to the subconscious, some people can have some of their thoughts displayed there… which is a good thing only if you don’t have any secrets you want nobody to learn about… In the comic, Subspace is very important, but in the movie it’s very downplayed, leaving out many elements that could be interesting. Then again, this movie is 112 minutes long… So yeah, just throwing it out there that in the Scott Pilgrim-verse, you can literally have someone on your mind.
|I <3 this scene.|
|Sorry. The pervert hidden deep inside my subconscious|
wanted this picture in the review.
On the next morning, Scott invites Ramona to Round 1 of the Battle of the Bands that evening. Also, she gives him her phone number, Scott, now you can call her maybe? And of course, Ramona comes to the Rockit, where the battle will take place. There, she meets Wallace, Stacey… and Knives, who’s still enamored with Scott. He still didn’t break up with her. Whooops. When he realizes things could get real ugly for him, Scott runs backstage at the speed of sound to get ready for the battle.
|Floating panicky text in three... two... one...|
…and that's when a weirdo blasts through the ceiling, screaming “MISTER PILGRIM!”, flying towards Scott.
See you in Part 2!