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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Movie Review:Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Premise:Scott Pilgrim must defeat his girlfriend's evil exes if he is to continue dating her.

Cast:Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers, Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells, Ellen Wong as Knives Chau, Anna Kendrick as Stacey Pilgrim, Jason Schwartzman as Gideon Graves, Mark Webber as Stephen Stills, Alison Pill as Kim Pine, Johnny Simmons as Neil Nordegraf, Satya Bhabha as Matthew Patel, Chris Evans as Lucas Lee, Brie Larson as Envy Adams, Brandon Routh as Todd Ingram, Mae Whitman as Roxie Richter, Shota Saito and Keita Saito as the Katayanagi twins, Aubrey Plaze as Julie Powers

Director:Edgar Wright

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language, and drug references.

Notes:Based off the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley. Poster taken from IMP Awards and belong to Universal.

Pros:A fun quirkiness. A couple of interesting characters.

Cons:Little character development. Hammy acting. Fights are rushed. Several subplots from the comics are left out.

Imagine if this girl you just went out with had some baggage. Baggage in the form of seven evil exes who will try to kill you until you defeat them all. Welcome to Scott's life, in a big screen adaption.

With six volumes of Scott Pilgrim, you have a lot to cram into one movie. This means three things:They remove subplots from the comics (Knives' dad never appears, Todd's affair with Lynette didn't happen, Envy plays no part in the last half of the film), rush from one fight to the next, and supporting characters are ignored in terms of development. In fact, I wonder if it would have been better if they made two movies.

The whole thing has a video game/comic book quirkiness to it (it even shows pages of the comic during flashbacks). This carries it at first, but not for long enough. The overacting starts out as charming, but gets tiresome after a while.

Speaking of the acting, I just don't like Michael Cera as Scott. I'm not fond of Stacey or Gideon, either. There are a few characters of interest like Ramona, Matthew Patel, and Scott's roommate Wallace. But as I said, they don't get much depth.

Even if I hadn't read the comics first, I wouldn't have liked this movie much. If you're in the mood for some Scott Pilgrim, I'd advise you to skip this movie and stick to the comics.

12/20/2016:Same as the other ones.

Sex:Sex, romance, and related things are frequently talked about. Scott, who's 22, dates a 17-year old highschooler named Knives Chau. When asked if they've "done it", he replies they do a lot of things (they apparently haven't even held hands, though she later kisses him on the mouth). He later spots Ramona and comes up with a plan to ask her out. He walks in as she's changing. They eventually kiss and strip to their underwear to have sex. Ramona decides against it, adding she has the right to change her mind about having sex with Scott later. All this happens while Scott is still with his teenage girlfriend.
Scott shares a mattress on the floor with his gay roommate Wallace. Nothing goes one between them, though Wallace is implied to have sex with at least three guys, at one point sharing the bed with two of them (and Scott) at the same time. He has a stalker-y crush on an actor, commenting "I want to have his adopted babies." He ogles and flirts with Stacey's date, Jimmy (much to his discomfort), but they soon make out anyway. Stacey indicates this is not the first time he's stolen one of her boyfriends. Wallace also claims even he would think twice about dating a 17-year-old, at least until Knives offers to tell him who in her class is gay. Scott walks in on Wallace and a guy having sex. They apologize for Scott seeing the guy's genitals.
When a woman tells Scott he's dreaming, he asks if they can make out. He accidentally punches a woman in the boob. It's momentarily implied he has sex with Ramona, until the next scene where a guy asks Scott if he's gay for not taking the opportunity to sleep with her.
A lesbian gets an orgasm from a man touching on the back of her knee. One of the evil exes is a female ninja named Roxie. Ramona says their relationship was just a bi-curious phase. This angers Roxie, who calls Ramona "has-bian" and announces the league will allow only Gideon to have her. Ramona admits to dumping one boyfriend as soon as see saw a handsome guy walk by her. She also dated twins at the same time.
Women show cleavage and leg. Characters make out frequently. A man gets a brief shirtless shot. Gideon strokes Ramona's hair, further solidifying his status as a creep.

Violence:Battles with the evil exes ends with the loser turning into coins. There are plenty of punches and kicks going on. Scott gets thrown into a building, whacked with skateboards, slammed through walls and into a ceiling, and gets a glass broken over his head. He also slices guys with a sword. One combatant gets stabbed through the chest. An evil ex helps Scott up, then punches him in the face.
Ramona and Roxie fight, the former with a hammer and the latter with a whip. A guy hits a girl so hard it knocks out the highlights in her hair. A guy does a skateboard trick on a rail that results in him going too fast and hitting the pavement hard (enough to cause a small explosion). A character actually dies from an orgasm. A band gets vaporized. Gideon gets a well-deserved hit in the crotch. Knives attacks Ramona, accusing her of stealing Scott. A guy kicks Ramona down a small staircase.
A band "dedicates" a song called "We Hate You, Please Die" to a heckler. In a movie, a guy threatens to shoot someone. Kim holds her hand in a gun shape and pretends to shoot herself in the head. Scott dives through a window, breaking glass. He also bangs his head against a pole and spills hot chocolate on his crotch.

Language:There's "G*d", "d**n", and "g*dd**n". Also "b**ch", "a**", "h*ll", "r*tard", "a-hole", "s**t", "d**k", "OMFG", and "p*ssed". The bird gets flipped twice. A woman cusses at Scott, causing a black censor box to cover her mouth (he asks her how she's doing that). Another woman later does the same thing. The word "f**k" is hinted at but never said.

Drugs and Alcohol:Characters drink. Scott tells Ramona being with her is like being on drugs. But he doesn't do drugs, unless she does, in which case he does every drug there is all the time.

Gross Humor/Pee Obsession:Scott relieves himself, with a pee meter draining as he does. He later messes up a response to a question, saying "I've got to pee on her." He asks Ramona if he wets himself, that she'd just pretend he got wet from the rain (she points out it isn't raining). An arrow points to Stephen's crotch with the word pee.

Spiritual:One guy summons demon hipster chicks... okay. During one battle, weird looking creatures are summoned to fight. The film deliberately plays out like a video game (no pun intended), complete with extra lives. Ramona remarks an act of God is a decent excuse for a lousy date. In this world, being vegan gives you super powers, including telepathy and a kind of telekinesis.

What did you think? Did you hate it? Or was it a winner?

© 2013 by M.R.R.

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