Boah, that’s an ooooold flick, from like 2010 which is almost like the nineties, back when we were all young and crispy fresh in our 30s and could’ve liked stupid teenage romps like this one. But today, in the year of the Buddha 2015, Orca being an old granny, why bother with shit like that? Read on:
Scott Pilgrim plays in a band which aspires to success. He dates Knives Chau, a high-school girl five years younger, and he hasn’t recovered from being dumped by his former girlfriend, now a success with her own band. When Scott falls for Ramona Flowers, he has trouble breaking up with Knives and tries to romance Ramona. As if juggling two women wasn’t enough, Ramona comes with baggage: seven ex-lovers, with each of whom Scott must do battle to the death in order to win Ramona.
IMDb rating: 7.5 😮
So why did I bother watching such a stupid teenager romp? Because A) I was inspired by my own blog where I used a specific scene from the movie and B) because I heard good things about it … and C) I was bored and H-wood doesn’t deliver any good stuff lately.
Alison Pill as Kim Pine was a waste: There she sits behind her drum kit, quasi on her throne and could grumpily wisecrack all day long, as she’s a pretty sarcastic character anyway. But no, she gets hardly any screentime at all. Is that maybe according to the anime? Dunno, in the live action adaptation it’s a Fail.
So – with that outta the way now – ya, what’s to say about SP vs the World? It is quirky indeed, interestingly filmed by the director of Shaun of the Dead, doesn’t take itself too serious and makes fun of the whole genre of adolescent teenage drama movies. Which is a good and almost intelligent way to get at it.
Or it would be if SPvtW wouldn’t sell itself short. The intelligence flies straight outta the window when we are exposed to Scott’s (who is 22 y/o so technically not a teenager anymore) unbelievably stupid task which is the backbone and motive of the whole plot. Defeat all 7 of his new crush’s exes in a series of supernatural kung fu fights to the death. 😮
Those fight scenes are very nicely done and can hold their water compared to other kung fu movies. Many many stuntpeople were killed throughout the filming process. Still, they are the weakest point of this flick since they add nothing of value but spectacle. After a grand opening with witty and dry humour the whole thing drifted downwards into a cheapo action blockbuster. Why? Did they have too much unused budget and thought they best spend it on pyro-effects and more fly by wire stunts?
Anyway, there was nothing to laugh in the action scenes, they were nothing but wasted chances to come up with something clever, and wasted time for the more mature audience. Dunno about you but as soon as fists are flying, guns are shot and spaceships explode I always feel like I’m being cheated out of a good plot.
So the movie just bumbles along and doesn’t really fulfill the promises it started with. If you expect to see a funny romcom in the world of rock bands … don’t bother. If you expect to see the slightest bit of romance anyway … pfff.
As nice as Ramona might look with her always changing hair dye jobs in nearly every scene and as good as Mary Elisabeth Winstead is as an actress, her role is so uninterestingly written and she has no chemistry with Michael Cera (Scott), she just bores us. Another wasted chance. See how there’s slowly a theme forming?
And what’s up with Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), Scott’s now/ex gf? Apart from the fact that her name is
funny mildly amusing when Scott says goodbye too her, »Chau Knives.« She’s a 17 y/o high schooler and 5 years younger than Scott, which obviously renders her an untouchable in American society. Original quote from Scott: »We almost held hands once.« Apart from being the vehicle for some lame jokes she has absolutely no purpose in the movie.
I have never watched the Scott Pilgrim animation series so I dunno if Knives maybe has a bigger role to play in there but in this movie she was a zero. Not the actress’s fault but the director or screenwriter didn’t even bother to write the obvious overly attached girlfriend/green-eyed monster part for her, which would’ve played out hilariously.
But instead of humour we get to see 7 over the top cartoonish fights against characters we’ve never seen before and ergo don’t give a fuck about.
Last but not least, there is Michael Cera, who turns out to be the near perfect embodiment of an anime anti-hero character. This skinny, big nosed goof is totally believable as the socially awkward loser type Scott Pilgrim.
Oh, was I overly harsh in my review? Did I concentrate too much on the negatives and didn’t take into account in which context this movie was made? Did I negate the targeted audience group of stupid amusement hungry teenagers? Yes, maybe. BUT, don’t you think that a movie must work as a movie regardless and outside of the group of targeted consumers? I think so. And as a “normal” movie SPvtW just didn’t work out too well and the IMDb rating of 7.5 is much too optimistic in my eyes.
Did we have fun watching Scot Pilgrim? Ya bet ya sexy ass we had. It wasn’t boring and we even chuckled sometimes. And here comes the most devastating judgement a movie can receive:
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was nice … but it could have been so much more.