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July 3, 2015

VGFlicks: Scott Pilgrim VS. The World (Part 3)

Scott Pilgrim VS The World review
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

(Still keeping track of the music challenge? For some exes, I’m referencing certain bands in particular. As an example, the first half of this part contains references to the band that did the music for Clash At Demonhead. Get your Wikipedia ready!)

Yadda yadda Ramona, yadda yadda evil exes, yadda yadda gay roommate, yadda yadda Scott Pilgrim is in deep trouble, yadda yadda Matthew Patel Lucas Lee Todd Ingram yadda yadda let’s get this started!

Also, I suspect the Kool-Aid Man will make a cameo soon.
The Clash At Demonhead opens under a thunder of applause, as Envy Adams, portrayed by Brie Larson, starts singing. Todd Ingram, Ex #3, at the bass. Their drummer, Lynette Guycott… was a tad more important in the book and is more like a background element here. Envy, who is blonde in the movie but was brunette (or redhead? Or auburn?) in the book, really gives a great performance for the public at Lee’s Palace, which gives the already-neurotic Stephen Stills an even greater stress. I should mention Envy hired Todd Ingram as bassist after Scott left her band. Only after this did the Clash At Demonhead left the old, horrible, static anonymity, and became part of mainstream music.

I so don't want to be there right now.
After the show, Envy invites the members of Sex Bob-Omb and their guests backstage. This can only end well… Scott and Ramona on a side, Envy and Todd on another. The small talk won’t do any good, so a couple snide remarks and veiled insults are thrown from both sides. Meanwhile, Knives is totally amazed that she’s so close to one of her idols. Envy mentions that her band recently played at a “Chaos Theater” in New York recently, a place owned by a certain Gideon… A name you’ll definitely start hating when this film is over. When Knives has another fangirl moment, Todd gets up… and PUNCHES HER IN THE FACE. Dude, that’s awful! That’s not what a soft rock star would do, that’s what an asshole would do! Neil goes outside with Knives, whose morale is at the lowest, and Scott flips out and challenges Todd to a fight.

If you wanted to have an "Oh, shit" face, now's a good time.

..but his fist is stopped halfway through, because Todd has psychic powers. The third ex lifts him off the ground and almost Force-chokes Scott, before tossing him through the wall and into the alley. For some reason, being a vegan gives him all these superpowers and more. …No, I didn’t make that up. It’s in all Scott Pilgrim continuities. Veganism gives you superpowers, given you go to their school, and there’s a police that regulates that stuff, and Todd punched a hole in the goddamn moon for Ramona, when he’s in superpower mode his hair floats and his eyes glow, and- You know what, it doesn’t have to make sense. This never meant to make sense, so why would it start now? Needless to say, Scott is rapidly outclassed in every way. Then he gets flung high into the sky. And when he falls, it gets pretty clear he’s no match against this opponent who can dish out metric tonnes of pain. Fun fact: Todd is actually pretty dumb; he might be one of the rare Psychic characters in fiction to be stupid. Well, him and Slowpoke. Maybe that’s his sole weakness.

The video game even took it a step further and he could do that.
Weird, I know.

In the comics, it’s made abundantly clear that Scott has no chance against this guy. The first fight they do happens at Honest Ed’s, a thrift shop, and it ends with the store in rubble, because the low prices broke Todd’s mind and he was unable to control his powers through all that amazement. No, really. I know it sounds like I'm making this up, but I'm not. In the second battle, Ramona fights Envy while Todd beats up Scott pretty bad, and even though our hero gets the help of Crash And The Boys, he still proves incapable of beating the third ex. Still, by the end, Todd has also gained Envy’s ire; turns out he was cheating on her with Lynette Guycott. Remember her? Yeah, I did say her role was more important in the books. There’s also the bit where Scott challenges him to a bass battle but gets outclassed there as well, a scene that is re-created in the movie. Todd knows all about that bass, and he plays it better than Scott! Also, of all the exes shown so far, Todd is both the most evil and the douchiest. A twofer, everyone! Let’s give him a medal!

Compare with the image a little higher.

The most bassic battle of the entire movie.
Yes, Scott is the one who loses.
In the movie, we see the bass battle, and Todd sends Scott flying through three walls. The “hero” crashes onto a table with coffee and cups. When Todd comes close to finish him, Scott welcomes him with two cups of coffee… Todd senses that Scott put milk in one of the cups, so he grabs the one Scott wasn’t handing to him. …Except Scott was smart enough to think the opposite of what he was doing (he put milk in the cup he wasn't presenting to Todd), so Todd drank half-and-half. IN COMES THE VEGAN POLICE! In both the comic and movie, those two guys show up, claiming to be the police that takes away the powers from vegans who eat meat, eggs or dairy products. Turns out Todd ate gelato in the past, and ate chicken parmesan at some point. …I did say he wasn’t the brightest lightbulb in the house. Well, Scott, you can say you’ve been saved by the police. The two guys de-power Todd Ingram, and then Scott headbutts him into nothingness and coins. Farewell, you, your blond hair, your douche attitude and your white stripes! Scott makes up with his ex, calling her Nat, and leaves her there.

Gotta love them ominous onomatopeia.

Now, the sad thing is that in the comic, Envy Adams’ role is much greater. We get scenes of Scott and her in college, she gets into a fight with Ramona, finds out that Todd is cheating on her so she kicks him in the balls, she undergoes a lot of character development, and she has a huge role in Book 6… which I haven’t read. I’ve read a lot about it, but I couldn’t find a damn copy anywhere. So I’m going with what I know. In the movie, Envy disappears shortly after Todd is defeated and she never shows up again. How sad. I’m sad, so very very sad.

Sex Bob-Omb gets together again at the nearest pizza place open at that hour, and think about going to the after-show party, at Nightclub 4. I think I should talk a bit about Book 4, while I’m here. Book 4, titled Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, is where everything starts getting tenser. I mean, Book 3 made everything tense, Book 4 amplified it all. Scott and Wallace are having problems paying the rent, so Scott has to find a job and help Wallace. One of Scott’s high (or middle?) school friends comes back, and this stirs up some problems when Ramona starts feeling a bit of jealousy. Also, Knives’ father is trying to see Scott’s worth (he didn’t get the memo that Scott broke up with his daughter) with a fight to the death, and the man is fucking BADASS. Meanwhile, Stephen Stills is working on a Sex Bob-Omb demo album, and has enlisted the help of Joseph, another gay who has been introduced in Book 3. So yeah, you can see that a buttload of things that happened in the books weren’t transferred into the movie.

Oh yeah, and in the book, after Ramona starts to think Scott is cheating on her, she starts going out again… with Ex #4.

Roxanne (Roxy) Richter.

A girl.

That’s why she kept saying “exes” instead of “ex-boyfriends”. She kissed a girl and she liked it, so she had one girlfriend. Bi-curiosity is such an odd thing.

This 4 will no doubt cast a shadow on their relationship.
Call it... four-shadowing.
...Please don't punch me for this joke.

Pictured here: The two protagonists at Nightclub 4.
Notice I didn't say "heroes". Or "good guys".
So, um, we can conclude that this next scene of the movie takes place right after Todd was defeated, right? It’s the same night? It’s the after-party show, so I guess it’s the same night. Wouldn’t be logical if it wasn’t. On the way to Nightclub 4, Scott confronts Ramona over her exes; did she really date all of these evil people? Geez, she’s got some bad luck in romance. Good thing Scott is a “nice” guy. As a sign of bad luck, the two of them are discussing exes while some of Scott’s own exes are at the party. First Knives, who’s still emotionally broken and doesn’t seem to have recovered; then Envy, but we better not talk about it, too much toxicity in that relationship; then Kim, who considered him a loser in middle (or high?) school and still does, though that never stopped her from dating him. Apparently, Scott had to go through Hell to end up with Kim. As in, he had to fight an absurd number of guys, and the final boss was just insane, and- ah, whatever. Here’s basically what happened.

After Scott is done discussing his past relationship with Kim, he gets attacked from behind by that same ninja girl from earlier.

What? No, not Knives! What the Hell?

Lynette Guycott? No. Certainly not. I mean, she was kind of a villain in the comics... but it's not her.

Ah, that’s more like it.

I would hjave liked to show Roxy and Ramona in the same
picture prior to the battle, but it was impossible.
P.S. Did any of you notice how often body doubles are used
in this movie?

Still, it takes Scott quite a bit to put the clues together. Yeah, he’s kind of an idiot. However, Roxy doesn’t have time to kick Scott, as Ramona takes his place in the battle. It’s girl-vs-girl! Ramona, with her hammer, versus a Roxy wielding metallic whips!

Gosh, that shot! Seriously, this movie has amazing
cinematography. Just the special effects, like this one,
to give a "comic book" feeling...

Sadly, the heroine has her hammer thrown out, so Scott has to step up and fight Roxy. He’s reticent, but Ramona decides to take control of him physically to force him into battle. She’s like a master of puppets! Time to turn this girl into chop suey!

Well, that doesn’t work either, so just as Roxy is about to drop a kick on Scott, Ramona exposes Roxy’s weakness: The back of her knees. Scott touches them, which sends Roxy tumbling to the ground, and she bursts into coins right after she orgasms. Well, if there was one word I never, ever thought I’d use on my site, it’s that one: tumbling. Oh well, better luck next time, Roxette!

Eh, you know what they say: "If you can't beat them in a fight,
beat them with love". Note that it doesn't specify which
kind of love...

Me too, I start drinking when I'm in a bad day,
Sweet barely-alcoholic fruity beverage, here I come.
Scott goes back to the bar and orders a drink, even if he doesn’t drink. This whole thing is depressing. That fight system is engineering his depression, what a downer system! Did all the people Ramona dated were children of the damned or something? And now, Scott is wondering if he should stay or he should go. It’s clear Ramona doesn’t like this situation either, but unlike Scott, most of the time all she can do is stay in the sidelines and watch her current boyfriend getting beat up by her exes. That’s anything but fun. All of her exes… they are young, so why set the world on fire? All because of Ramona? Is it too much to ask to treat her like a human, not like a thing to conquer, a thing to ruin on an emotional level? Calm down Scott, you’re gonna lose yourself in this battle!

Oh hey, there are only three exes left!
And this depression keeps on growing, he’s distancing himself from everyone else. Each fight against an ex is another brick in the wall separating him from Ramona. She says it herself; he’s just another evil ex waiting to happen. Scott doesn’t want to become somebody that she used to know… But the stress of all these fights takes its toll, and Ramona leaves Scott… not before giving him a list of all the exes. Numbers 5 and 6 are conjoined and it’s just written “Katayanagi Twins”. Huh… Wait a second, she dated twins? After Ramona leaves Nightclub 4, Scott starts wondering who exactly the Katayanagi twins are… well, Stephen has the answer.

Thankfully, Scott can still count on... Young Neil, Stephen,
Wallace, Kim and... wait, who's the third guy from the left?
...Oh right, Other Scott, Wallace's "friend".

Kyle and Ken Katayanagi are their next opponents in the Battle of the Bands.

They look like they came out of the latest
season of Total Drama.
That's NOT a compliment.
Now, my expertise in the Scott Pilgrim comics ends at Book 4, but as I said before, I’ve kept myself informed, and I’ve looked around to learn what happened in those books. In Book 5, Scott is attacked by robots at a constant pace, until the end where it’s revealed that the Katayanagi twins are responsible for sending them. Kyle and Ken lecture Scott on how Ramona really isn’t a good person (she dated both of them at the same time, for Christ’s sake! Cheated on each of them with the other!), and she deserves to have her life ruined, yadda yadda- Screw these two. Anyway, Scott manages to defeat them, but the pressure reaches a paroxysm when Ramona finds out that at the start of her relationship with Scott, he was still dating Knives Chau. That’s where she dumps him. Never mind the fact that she did pretty much the same with both Katayanagis. …Yeah, at that point it’s meant to show that Ramona is a hypocrite. In fact, the Katayanagis barely get any focus in that book, and the projectors instead shines on Scott having problems in his relationship with Ramona… Oh well, time to beat up some twins!

How does the battle against Kyle and Ken Katayanagi go in the movie? Tune in next time.