What up, Buttercups?
For those of you paying close attention you may have noticed that my posts are all connected. For the smarty-pants in the back snickering because they’re all late or reviews of movies, you’re wrong. Well, wrong and right. They are all late – that is my shtick after all – and they are all review but its something a little less obvious.
This post is no different but you will be able to notice the connection more easily.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World. It was, for a while, my favourite film of all time. It had elements that appealed to me. It is, at its core, the story of love conquering all.
Who doesn’t love that?
There was a time, before I ever knew of Nick and Norah (Hint hint at the connection) where this was the film I watched religiously. I had to watch it with subtitles because when I bought it the laptop I owned wouldn’t play sound. So I’d sit alone, in my flat, watching a movie with the sound off like something out of a horror film until I could recite it word-for-word.
I loved the idea that a down-on-his-luck loser like Scott (Michael Cera) could win the love and affection of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Aside from the story – personally I think more people should have to face their new partner’s last seven evil exes it might make us think a little harder about who we date and how we break up with them – the music is spot on. The original songs in the script were penned by Beck.
It is also a film packed full of little nods and Easter Eggs that once you notice will make you smile. For example, once you notice all the Xs dotted around the place you won’t be able to unsee them.
The fight scenes are amazing and the comic book details are laced throughout the entire film lending it a sense of continuity. It is a comic book film that is perfectly happy with being a comic book film. It doesn’t try to be much else.
Fidelity is a big theme in this movie.
Scott – when we meet him – is dating a girl called Knives (Ellen Wong) but that doesn’t stop him chasing Ramona after she appears in a dream but doesn’t end the relationship with Knives until after he spends the night with Ramona.
There is a sense of realism to that. While he is the hero of the film he is not some painted white knight. He is very much a hero with feet of clay. The first hint of this is the way Sex Bob-omb bandmate Kim (Allison Pill) reacts to the news that Scott has a girlfriend.
He lacks purpose, drive, ambition… most things that typical comic book heroes have in spades.
He’s indecisive, scared, selfish… There are two theories to how to create a novel or a film. One is putting an extraordinary person in an ordinary situation the other is putting an ordinary person into an extraordinary situation.
You don’t get more ordinary than Scott Pilgrim. A whiny 22-year-old who doesn’t know how to move on with his life, is still hurting from an ex who dumped him and learned to fight from video games. And you don’t get more extraordinary than all seven evil exes of your newest girlfriend trying to kill you so that Gideon (Jason Schwartzman) – Ramona’s newest, most evil and founder of the League of Evil Exes – can control her love life.
The film is an over-the-top, Easter Egg crammed, full throttle action film with romance and enough jokes and pop culture references to keep even the geekiest of dedicated Comic Con goers happy. From Legend of Zelda music in the background of scenes, to reaction shots overlaid with error sound bytes from Mac and Windows PCs, all the way down to hidden numbers or signs marking out which evil ex is which.
For many people I doubt this will be a film they re-watch as religiously as I did but rest assured that if you were scrolling through late night TV and stumbled across this on Film 4 I doubt you change channel until it was over.