Saturday, August 14, 2010
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Review; or, My Penis Vs. The Constricting Zipper of My Pants While Watching
I loved video games as a kid. Still do. I had a regular Nintendo back in the day, and on Christmas day 1991, I received an SNES for Christmas. It was, and still is, one of the most exciting Christmas gifts that I have ever gotten. From that day, I've owned many different systems and hundreds of different games (currently two PS3's, a 360 and a Wii). I just turned 26, and the love hasn't faded much over the years. Maybe that will change when there are some mini-Hutches running around, but hopefully not. Videogames are an entertaining way to connect with friends, play different things competitively from the comfort of your own leather chair, escape the sometimes frustrating real world for a while, and--above all--have some fun. Why all of this talk about videogames? Well, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is the epitome of what a film should be like when marketed toward the videogame generation. It's combination of music, sound effects, frenetic action scenes, a loud and boisterous announcer during the fight scenes, and fun factor accelerate it to the forefront of films that are directly connected to the generation that considers Master Chief a true hero.
Disclaimer: I have not read the Scott Pilgrim comic books. I have absolutely no clue about whether or not this is a faithful adaptation to the source material. But by going by everything that I have read, it seems like it's pretty close. Scott Pilgrim (played by Michael Cera, in his best but still basically-more-of-the-same film role), is a 20-something in Toronto, Canada, and is a member of the band "Sex Bob-omb". He's dating a high-schooler, an Asian girl called Knives who wears cute schoolgirl outfits. Picture a pedophile or an anime-loving nerd's dream. However, a new girl comes into town and into Scott's dreams, so he decides to try and hit it off with her by using his normal pickup line, which deals with the history of Pac-Man. Dating this girl, Ramona Flowers, comes with a catch: to win her time and heart, he must defeat her seven evil exes. In this film, defeat doesn't just mean a fistfight or normal violence. In this surreal, one-third videogame, one-third comic book and one-third movie universe, Scott must defeat these seven beings in a fighting game (think Mortal Combat or Tekken)-style "Vs" mode, while using various natural and supernatural weapons. Enemies even explode into coins when the finishing blow is landed. It's great fun, videogame lover or not.
I had pretty high expectations of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, but I still didn't know what exactly to expect. I knew that Edgar Wright would (at the very least) make a film that's entertaining enough to watch. However, he exceeded that easy-to-reach benchmark. It's funny, has great martial arts fighting scenes, and a charming-in-a-nerd-kind-of-way lead character. It's frenetic, romantic, and, above all, a fucking blast. Just like Shaun of the Dead was filled with nods and winks to the Zombie-film genre and Hot Fuzz was filled with nods and winks to buddy-cop action movies of the past, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a tribute to videogames of the past. A past where instead of worrying about everyday headaches such as a job or paying bills, all you had to do was defeat the evil henchmen to save the beautiful princess. (A-)