Saturday, February 16, 2013

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I had a chance to see this is theaters a couple of years ago. As you may recall, I couldn't convince my coworkers to go with it, so we wound up watching The Other Guys instead. It beat going to see Eat, Pray, Love. I bought the film three weeks ago, and Alex and I watched it the same weekend as The Watch. Then I watched it again yesterday.

Looking over that Other Guys review, I notice I was curious to see if Scott Pilgrim committed to its world as completely as Speed Racer did. I don't remember being curious about that, but one of my first reactions after viewing it was that yes, it did. Well, mostly. It isn't odd for Scott to fight an 80-foot tall guy to date Kim, but it does get some odd looks when Matthew Patel stops mid-fight to sing and dance about how he's going to incinerate Scott with fireballs. I guess Canadians hate having their boss fights interrupted with cut scenes as much as I do.

My biggest problem with the movie was that for most of it - I mean 80 to 90% of the film - I liked every character except Scott. And Julie, who may 'has issues', but was just too unpleasant. Everyone else was in some way cool, funny, or otherwise entertaining enough that I enjoyed their presence in the movie. Especially Wallace (Kieran Culkin). He was clever, flirty, and told Scott things he needed to hear, the sort of things I wanted to yell into Pilgrim's stupid face.

Here's the problem. I know the story is about Scott getting it together. Getting past Natalie, getting over his hang-ups about himself, becoming an adult, shit like that. In order to get it together over the course of the story, he must not have it together at the beginning, which means he may behave in immature, unlikeable ways. For some reason, Scott' particular brand of that bugged me. I don't know if it's the character, or Michael Cera's portrayal. I know some of his interactions with Ramona felt like they were aiming for Hugh Grant style "awkward, but in a cute, dorky way", but flew past it to, "so awkward I wonder if you have any higher brain functions".

One nice thing about the fight scenes was he didn't have as much opportunity for that. The fights were very well done, except the Todd fight, which dragged on far too long. Once they said he had psionic powers from veganism, you knew the solution, it just took forever to get there. Brandon Routh's portrayal of Todd was wonderful smug, though. Lotsa fun to hate that guy.

I liked the movie's sense of style, I liked most of the songs (or at least the music, the lyrics were more hit and miss), the fights were entertaining, and different enough to keep from feeling repetitive, and with the exception of the main character I enjoyed everyone in the movie. Miles better than The Other Guys and The Watch, faint praise that may be.

'We are Sex Bob Omb, and we are here to sing about death and make you feel sad and stuff!'

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