I’ve got nothing against Michael Cera. He’s a cool guy, great in all his soft-spoken roles. I’ve got nothing against the Scott Pilgrim franchise. On the contrary, I’ve read the books and played the game. But even though I saw the movie first, I don’t think Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a good movie. The only reason I think this is because Michael Cera doesn’t properly portray the wannabe lady-killer jock jerky-jerk that Scott Pilgrim is. Instead, he makes Scott look like an awkward wimp that has his badass moments. It makes his relationship with Ramona look forced and stupid. Oh! Synopsis, right.
Scott Pilgrim dates a high schooler. 17 years old and Chinese, Knives Chau is adorable and impressionable. She loves Scott’s band, Sex Bob-omb, and thinks he’s a total stud. His life is great! And then he has a dream about Ramona Flowers and meets her at a party. What else can he do but obsess? Why, he can cheat on Knives, of course. After an awkward seduction, he convinces Ramona to give him a chance. Of course, he waits a bit before breaking up with poor Knives. In fact, his cool gay roommate Wallace Wells has to offer him an ultimatum in order to get him to break up with her. Anyway.
During one of their band’s gigs, Scotty boy is attacked by Matthew Patel, the first of Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes. From that point on, our protagonist’s life descends into a real shit-storm of drama. Knives is stalking him, his traumatizing ex, Envy Adams is in town, and she’s brought an evil ex with her. Lucas Lee the pro-skateboarder turned film star came first, though. It seems like everyone wants to kill Scott now that he’s dating Ramona. Worst of all, Ramona’s got some lingering issues with one of her exes from New York. Gideon Gordon Graves, the big bad final boss.
I’m not gonna write out the whole movie for you, because it doesn’t exactly have a complex plot. The movie doesn’t, I mean. It obviously had to omit some of the finer details and backstory in order to shave off enough time to avoid making a modern day video-game oriented Godfather or Titanic. Unfortunately, this also drastically dunks the quality of the movie for those who have read the graphic novels. To be expected, but obnoxious nonetheless.
The entire theme of the books, movie, and game is one collective goofy tribute to retro-gaming. The graphic novels stray from the video-game genre the most, however. In all six books, the plot plays out more like an action hero teen drama more than a level-by level hallway of challenges. The only spectacularly linear aspect to it is the one-at-a-time battles with the evil exes.
So what can I say? Rent the movie first to test the waters. If you like the theme, the gist of all the characters, and the cheesy humor, then it’d probably be a good idea to get the books. They’re no longer at the peak of their popularity, so you can probably get them for a much more reasonable price. Think of them as a much more aesthetic and detailed take on what the movie presents. If you like those, then by all means, go get the game. You can get it on the Playstation Network or the Xbox Live Arcade bauble for maybe five or ten bucks. It is the full tribute to retrogaming, complete with music by the fantastic soundchip band Anamanaguchi.
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Good franchise, good stuff. The movie’s icky because of Michael Cera. That is NOT what I envisioned Scott’s hair to look like in real life. Geeze Louise. Done.
Aaron Weiss of CinemaFunk hasn’t read the books, but certainly has the right idea about the movie; nostalgia. It makes you think about back-in-the-day scenarios about comics and 8-bit vids that progressed level by level. I don’t think the movie was too long, though. But then again, it’s kind of predictable/pretentious to expect the movie to be a carbon copy of the books, so maybe reading this review would be better for you than mine: http://www.cinemafunk.com/movie-reviews/scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world.html