Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is kind of like the cinematic equivalent of having a meal at T.G.I. Fridays. The food isn't all that great, but there is so much shit thrown up on the walls that it's still fun to just sit there and check it all out. There will be a Mike Schmidt rookie card hanging next to a poster for a Vincent Price Movie handing next to a Big Mouth Billy Bass. I don't know why or what connect or purpose those things serve, but it's fun to see them all together. Scott Pilgrim is a movie that feels and sounds like a videogame programmed to look like a cartoon that reads like a comic book. I didn't really care for this movie, just as I don't really care for the cuisine at Fridays, but it was a perfectly satisfying meal all the same, even if I'd never want to do it again.

This movie is about... well... nothing really. Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim (with the same performance he used to play the kid from Arrested Development, the kid from Juno, and the kid from whatever else he's been in), who meets a girl and then has to fight her exboyfriends. And that's it. Sure, there are some other little details here and there, such as the fact that his band enters some contest, his friends ostensibly have other things going on, but it all is little more than a vehicle for the insane videogame style fight scenes that play out just like something form Tekken, Street Fighter 2, or Smash Brothers. These scenes are very neat and clever, but all things considered, they were little more than window dressing in search of a better movie. I just didn't like the main character (I'm suppose to root for some jerk who's cheating on his girlfriend?), and I had no emotional investment in his supposed heroic quest to get the girl.

The movie is something of a masterpiece in terms of visual design, however, and I have no doubt that the end result is exactly the film director Edgar Wright intended to make. This is a phenomenal looking movie with amazing special effects, funny musical queues and sound motifs taken from various videogames, and lots of visual razzle dazzle like I've never seen before. But it just wasn't very good. I just didn't care about and of the characters and the story lacked a main narrative thrust that was strong enough to really give me any reason to keep going. I only kept watching because it's a neat looking movie, and because it had a bunch of pretty girls. Then again, maybe that's enough.

The soundtrack was also really great. As I mentioned about, the music queues and sound effects were mostly taken from old Nintendo games, but all of the music was also great as well. The main character is in a band, and all of the music they play, as well as the music by the other bands, is awesome and a lot of fun. 

Oh, and it's also worth watching for Brandon Routh (of Superman fame), who was amazing. He appeared late in the movie and then disappeared as soon as Scott Pilgrim defeated him. But that whole section of the movie was my favorite part, and Routh was so funny and charismatic that it almost made the entire film worth watching. Also fun but nowhere near as good as Routh were what's his name from Rushmore and Chris Evans.

Two thumbs... in the middle. It's worth checking out, and it's entertaining enough, but it left me feeling cold.

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