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July 6, 2015

VGFlicks: Scott Pilgrim VS. The World (Part 4)

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

In part 3, Scott Pilgrim defeated exes number 3 and 4, and he has learned that exes 5 and 6 are gonna be fighting him at the same time… during the Battle of the Bands. (Gonna spoil this: When Gideon comes around, expect lots and lots of musical references to a band that began doing music about 50 years ago and is still going strong. That’s all I’m gonna say.)

Scott is ready.

What the Hell do you mean, "ACTUALLY NO"?
Man, I hate when text intrudes into the picture.
As it turns out, both Sex Bob-Omb and the Katayanagi twins are on-stage at the same time. Each band on a side of the room, with the crowd in the middle. ...Who's the dumbass who thought about that?? The members of Sex Bob-Omb install themselves on the smaller stage of the two (because they couldn’t afford the big-ass stage the Katayanagis got, I suppose?), and notice Ramona in the crowd, speaking to a guy facing the other way. She’s changed her hair color, once again. Guess she was having a green day. The guy she’s talking to turns around… and man, I don’t know who he is yet, but I already want to punch him. Just this air of superiority, this smug grin on this jerkass face… I’ve got no sympathy for that devil.

All it took was one picture and I bet you, too, already hate that guy.

You could tell they're very one-note. Also, is it just me or the movie
keeps changing format?
Kyle and Ken show up on the opposite side of the room. They’ve got… quite the electronic style, I must say. And that’s not just because their instrument, their desk and their background is all a big computer. After thirty seconds spent on one note, the twins unleash an energy wave that breaks a hole through the ceiling and breaks some of the stuff on Sex Bob-Omb’s side. Including the projectors. They hit like a sledgehammer. But that’s not gonna stop Scott, Kim and Stephen Stills, oh no! They start playing their song, Threshold, but then Kyle and Ken start playing their electronic music again. Two energy dragons come out from the background, flying towards Sex Bob-Omb, and unleash their breath on them. Imagine dragons like that, how impressive they must be. But Scott is not gonna take it.

Just what do dragons have to do with music? I can't even...
Just... WHAT?

And a yeti now? What wuh... wuhzat? I'm speechless!
When Kim and Stephen Stills reveal that the guy speaking to Ramona is Gideon “G-Man” Gordon Graves, Scott becomes determined to beat up these twins and resumes playing. In retaliation, the twins turn their sound all the way to 11 and summon the double dragon again. To counterattack, Scott, whose eyes are now glowing a sickly green, activates Teen Team Spirit and Sex Bob-Omb summons a big yeti to fight the dragons. Well, well, well, this has got to be one of the most visually stunning scenes in a movie that is already 90% made of visually stunning scenes.

The yeti defeated the dragons? ...Huh, it probably makes sense.  The yeti
is most likely an Ice-type. Check your Pokémon type matchup tables!
My God, this is awesome. The giant yeti is holding its own against the twin dragons! Well, gee, that’s one of the best adaptations of a Pokémon battle I’ve seen in years! It ends with the Yeti grabbing both dragons, smashing them into each other and dropping them on Kyle and Ken Katayanagi, effectively defeating them and earning Scott the victory. Even Graves looks impressed, that’s saying something. 

(I forgot to show you a closer shot of the Katayanagis, so here it is.)

They are as emotionless as paper bags, but don't tell them.

Again, couldn't get the two of them in the same shot,
looking at each other. Body double trick again, I guess.
This victory earns Scott an extra life, and then he heads towards Ramona and Gideon. Sadly, he faces a random encounter on the way: Knives Chau. Well, that’s gonna be awkward… Scott decides to escape the encounter and goes outside, seeing Ramona about to leave. He finally spills his heart out to her, but he still fails to say that he loves her. …The word that comes out instead is “lesbians”. ...I guess that encounter with the fourth ex really shook him up. Still, that speech proves useless as Ramona decides to dump Scott and go back to Gideon. Aw, crap, I knew it! Scott, I knew she was only gonna break your heart!

Is it me or winter just got even stronger in that scene?
By that point, the rest of Sex Bob-Omb has joined Scott, and Gideon (played by Jason Schwartzman) also shows up to offer them a record deal. Wasn’t the Battle of the Bands supposed to have another round? Ah, whatever. It’s only rock’n’roll, but he likes it. Scott vehemently refuses to sign, but Stephen Stills and Kim sign. To make it final, Scott chooses to quit Sex Bob-Omb, which would be a problem… if Young Neil didn’t know how to play all of his parts. So Neil becomes the new bassist, signs on the contract and the deal is made. And Gideon remains smug through the whole exchange. Argh, he makes me want to scream and shout! Give me something, I wanna bash his brains in! Smash his mouth!

...Alright, I'll admit it, this scene makes him look a bit more
human, a bit less jerkass. Doesn't make him a good guy,
but he shows some kind of good side, and that's...
...gonna disappear in a few seconds anyway.
Ramona gets in the limousine, and so does Gideon, but before that he makes sure to let it sink in that he won in the end. Just in case it wasn’t clear. A last twist of the knife in the wound. Gideon “apologizes” for all the dirty work; the exes, all that. He tries to reason that he was in a dark place, giving himself an excuse, yadda yadda – Shut up. You, Gideon, are just an egotistical jerk who can’t accept that a girl dumped him, so you set out to make her life miserable, just because. Oh, sure, I could list all of your defects right here, right now, but I’ll wait till we get a little further before continuing.

Besides, no man with a bit of gaming knowledge would choose an upside-down Triforce as their symbol. It’s just sacrilegious. Unless they definitely classify themselves as a villain, in which case it’s a perfect use of symbolism.

Good thing Scott can kinda-sorta count on his sister.
The limousine leaves, and the new Sex Bob-Omb goes off to celebrate. No girlfriend, no band, no precious little life; Scott lost almost everything in a single evening. Gee, good thing he didn’t also have a job! Scott gets to discuss with his sister for a bit, and she tells him he shouldn’t have picked the girl with eleven evil exes. When Scott says it’s actually seven, she replies it’s… not that bad. Wait, you mean in the Pilgrimverse, other good guys have to face more than seven evil exes to be with the one they love? Holy crap! Still, that’s a great scene that shows a more human, less twisted side of Scott’s sister. After all, one could make the reasonable argument that it’s her mass text that started all of the trouble since it was done before Scott actually dated Ramona, and he also got Matthew Patel’s message before he began dating Ramona, and thus it's probable the whole reason the exes knew who to fight was because they caught wind of Scott dating Ramona and- Oh crap. I’m overanalyzing things again, aren’t I?

So, Scott goes home, down with the sickness, but opens the door on Wallace in the middle of the act with yet another guy. The roommate apologizes for this free display of male junk. It appears that Wallace has found love, because he’s kicking Scott out. Aw man, you too? Goddammit! That’s when they get called by Gideon himself. Holy crap, dude, stop it already! Your smug is covering the whole damn city! Your baby got back, isn’t that enough? One can tell Gideon is calling Scott to press his buttons, make him go berserk, and go further and push between the buttons if needed. And it works, too; it gets Scott pumped up for a fight, ready to go and kick this fucker’s ass. Even Wallace encourages him to go on a rampage. Scott gets dressed and hurries towards Level 7: The brand-new Chaos Theater that just opened in Toronto. What is it like? A tower of stone, built on the flesh and bone of the construction workers? ...Probably not.

This is it, the final dungeon!
...Alright, less of a dungeon and more of a boss room, but whatever.

Where'd you draw inspiration for this pyramid, Gideon?
The incas? The aztek? Mayans? ...I don't really care.
The hero makes his way to an elevator, and descends to a lower level, where the main room is. There, Sex Bob-Omb is playing the appropriately-titled “No Fun”. Stephen tries to talk Scott out of it; Gideon would be too happy! But Scott can’t get no satisfaction until that fucker is dead. Sure enough, Gideon sees Scott coming towards him, and at first acts like an affable villain, offering him Coke Zero. What’s next, cookies? Margaritas? Crystal meth? Brown sugar? Gideon defies him, almost mocks that Scott is here to fight for Ramona, but Scott finally spills it; he’s in love with her. Saying that causes a flaming sword to burst from Scott’s chest, giving him the Power of Love. Whoa. Pwetty.

Must be the first guy who gets impaled by his own weapon
and THEN uses it to fight evil.

Ack! So much red, it hurts! My eyes!
Gideon sends his goons towards Scott, causing the partygoers to flee the scene. Scott makes short work of them, and then runs towards the sharp-dressed man. Gideon pulls out his own scepter and attacks as well, leading to Scott’s sword breaking in pieces and our hero falling down the pyramid. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that; Gideon and Ramona are sitting on top of a pyramid-like structure, and the fight against Gideon takes place entirely on this thing, where you absolutely got to watch your step if you want to win. Well, at least when Gideon tells Scott “Get off my cloud”, he means it.

The “man of wealth and taste” goes towards Scott and readies to strike a final time, but Knives comes the Hell out of nowhere and attacks Gideon. Sadly, it doesn’t work and the Chinese girl is sent down the stairs. However, Knives isn’t here to battle Graves; she’s here to attack Ramona! Oh hey, there goes our second all-girl fight in the movie! …Not like the two guys can appreciate it, as they, too, resumed fighting. With fists, this time around.

All three incarnatons of Gideon. One of them looks...
very different from the others. ...I know! The top-left
one! He's in black-and-white!
It’s as great a time as ever to explain my hatred of Gideon Gordon (Gleeful?) Graves. Yeah, of course, there’s the whole League of Evil Exes thing, and how he’s the final boss, and how he’s a smug smartass… but compared to the comics, he’s actually not that bad in the movie. In the comics? He’s worse. Way worse. As in, “superhero comic supervillain” worse. For starters, the guy isn’t just a creep; he could creep into the head of Ramona at any moment, thanks to Subspace. He found a way into her head and used it to control her during key moments (in the comics, that’s shown as lines coming from Ramona’s head, like her face is shining or something). This is some “Being John Malkovich”-level of weird right here. Oh, but it gets worse. Gideon also has the power to trap someone into their worst souvenirs. Greatest failure? Toughest moment? Name it. That’s the reason why almost every one of Ramona’s exes turned evil; Gideon did that freaking mind trick on them. That way, they were servile little underlings under his thumb. Still not enough? It gets worse.

Gideon could also mess around with other people’s memories. In fact, the entirety of the comic series up to that point was shown through Scott’s eyes… but he wasn’t a reliable narrator; many of his memories were not what happened for real. He was hopelessly trying to pass himself as a hero by making himself more heroic and by making everyone either a lesser character, or a straight-up villain (in the case of those who he feels have wronged him, like Envy; turns out Scott was also at fault for their breakup). Guess what? Gideon messed with that vision of reality and made it even worse! Between the reality and Scott’s own take on things, we had some very blurred lines. Great, huh?


...the caption says it all, I've got nothing to add.

I mean…. That’s some hardcore stuff right there. I don’t even know why I was yelling all that. It seems like overkill. Oh well, I guess it’s too late to back out, erase the preceding paragraph and rewrite it without me yelling like a madman. But you get the point: Gideon is a complete monster. So, back to the actual movie.

Now imagine him mimicking Dennis Hopper's version of
Koopa, saying "Looks like I win".
Scott does an awesome move and tosses Gideon down the pyramid, and then gets between Knives and Ramona. He tries to explain what really happened; that he started dating Ramona behind Knives’ back, that he’s the one at fault… That’s exactly when Gideon shows up from behind and stabs through Scott with his scepter. Well, geez, Scott, that’s what you get for trying to save your own Ruby Tuesday. First off you’re all heroic, then you’re black and blue, and at the end the villain decides to let it bleed. This leaves everyone in a state of shock.

What an odd place to talk...
Scott is dead and now finds himself in a desert, like in his dream early in the film. Ramona, or her spirit, approaches Scott and explains the deal with Gideon; he stuck a microchip to the back of her head, and it’s been controlling her now and then during the movie. So wait, that means this Gideon has gotten closer to the one from the comics? Well that’s just great. Still, Ramona implies that she’s not the one Scott should have been fighting for. She disappears from this dying dream, blown away like dust… but then the extra life Scott picked up appears. He has another chance. Time to take it. Like a phoenix, Scott rises from his ashes! Events fastforward from the end of the battle against the Katayanagi twins all the way to when Scott gets to his apartment.

Think that's how it works in other video game worlds too?

Time for payback! …This Friday, in Part 5. Toodles! ..Oh hey, I forgot to turn off my Black Rectangle Swear Bleeper. Now that's done. Can't believe it was on for two entire parts and I didn't even notice.