It’s Friday, and what better way to start the day than with a comic book movie. Now I remember seeing these books in Borders and Barnes & Noble all the time while wandering the graphic novel/manga area and always thought that they seemed pretty childish. When the trailer for the movie came out, it honestly looked pretty ridiculous, which meant I was more than likely going to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see it in theaters so when it came out on DVD, I picked up a copy. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
The plot: In Toronto, Canada, Scott Pilgrim is a 22 year old bassist for a band called Sex Bob-Omb. One morning he tells his band mates Stephen Stills and Kim Pine, as well as Stephen’s roommate Young Neil, that he is dating a 17 year old high schooler named Knives Chou and invites her over to listen to them practice. After she leaves, Stephen and Neil seem to like her but Kim, who is one of Scott’s ex-girlfriends, asks Scott if he is really happy dating her. When Scott tells his roommate Wallace about Knives, Wallace tells Scott’s sister Stacey, who proceeds to berate Scott for doing this to get over his ex Envy. Scott has a dream about an unknown girl and as he accompanies Knives to the library, he sees the girl delivering a package. At a party hosted by Stephen’s on/off girlfriend Julie, Scott learns that the girl, Ramona Flowers, will be there and eventually finds her and tries to talk to her but she doesn’t seem interested. Deciding to try to get to know her, Scott orders a package from Amazon so that Ramona has to deliver it and convinces her to go out with him. That night, the two walk and talk in the snow and after going back to Ramona’s place to warm up, they start making out, though Ramona says she won’t sleep with him that night. The next day, Scott invites her to a battle of the bands that he is playing in and Ramona agrees to go. Wallace tells Scott that he needs to break up with Knives but Scott doesn’t, then gets nervous when both Ramona and Knives show up at the concert. When Sex Bob-Omb start playing, they are interrupted by Matthew Patel, who starts fighting with Scott and says that he is the first of Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes. Despite Patel’s ability to summon demon hipster chicks, fly, and shoot fireballs, Scott is able to defeat Patel, who bursts into coins, and Ramona drags him out of the venue as the DJ announces that Sex-Bob-Omb won. On the bus, Ramona explains that if Scott wants to date her then he will have to date all of her exes, but Scott is happy with the fact that Ramona said they were dating and the two kiss. The next day, Wallace pressures Scott to break up with Knives if he wants to be with Ramona so Scott meets up with Knives and breaks up with her. Scott invites Ramona over for dinner and after an awkward conversation about Scott’s ex, they head over to the Castle to join Wallace in watching a movie that is being filmed there. When the lead actor, Lucas Lee, comes out of his trailer, Ramona says that he is one of her exes, just as Lucas challenges Scott. Lucas starts attacking Scott but when he goes to fight back, he ends up fighting Lucas’ stunt doubles. After Scott beats them, Lucas beats up Scott but Scott tricks him into doing a grind down a stair rail and Lucas ends up going to fast and crashes at the bottom of the stairs. Lucas explodes into a shower of coins but when Scott turns around, he finds that Ramona has disappeared. The next day, Scott is trying to get in touch with Ramona when his ex, Envy, calls and Scott lets slip that he is dating Ramona. Later, Scott goes to get some coffee when he is attacked by a strange girl, who is able to teleport, but when Scott says he doesn’t have time for this, the girl says she will see him later. Scott reaches the coffee shop, hoping to talk to his sister but she has already left and he sees Ramona there. She apologizes for leaving the night before but before they can say anything else, Envy shows up and admits to Scott she is jealous before saying she will see him again. Scott learns that Envy has asked Sex Bob-Omb to open for her band that night and Stephen had accepted and Scott worries about it but after talking with Ramona, says that he will be ok with it. Meanwhile, Knives believes that Ramona stole Scott from her and so she dyes her hair to try and emulate Ramona, then asks Neil out to try and make Scott jealous. After Sex Bob-Omb finishes their set, Scott and Ramona are talking as Envy’s band comes on stage and Ramona says that the bassist, Todd Ingram, is one of her exes. After the show, Scott and the others are invited back stage and after Todd punches Knives so hard that it knocks out her highlights, Scott tries to punch him but is stopped by Todd’s telekinetic powers. Todd says that he is a vegan, which gave him super powers, and begins using them to throw Scott up in the air and through walls. When Scott ends up back in the venue, he grabs a bass guitar and challenges Todd to a Bass Battle but Todd ends up winning it. Scott then grabs two cups of coffee and hands one to Todd but Todd says he can read Scott’s mind and knows he tried to trick him into drinking half & half so he grabs the other cup instead. Scott says that he actually put the half and half in the cup that Todd drank from, but thought really hard about putting it in the cup he is holding. The Vegan Police show up and since this is Todd’s third strike, as he previously ate gelato and a chicken parmesan, they strip Todd of his powers and then Scott headbutts him, causing him to explode into coins. Scott and Ramona leave, meeting up with the others at a pizza place before heading to an after party. At the after party, Scott is attacked by the mystery girl again, Roxanne “Roxy” Richter, who is revealed to be Ramona’s 4th ex. When Roxy goes to attack Scott again, Ramona stops her and the two end up fighting, as Scott doesn’t feel comfortable fighting a girl. When Roxy says that Scott has to beat her with his own fists, Ramona grabs Scott and moves his arms in order to guide him in his fight but Roxy separates them. As she goes to finish off Scott, Ramona tells Scott her weakness and he touches the back of Roxy’s knee, causing Roxy to collapse to the floor and explode into coins. Scott heads to the bar and starts drinking and ends up complaining to Ramona about her exes and so she breaks up with him, then hands him a list of her exes. Scott learns that her next to exes are the Katayanagi twins, who happen to be their opponents in the next part of the competition. At the competition, the two bands face off, with the Katayanagi twins using their music to summon mystical creatures to attack Scott. Seeing Ramona at the concert with Gideon, her last ex, Scott uses the anger to power his band and summon a monster of his own to battle their creatures and win, defeating the twins and gaining a 1-up. Afterwards, Scott chases after Ramona and tells her he loves her but she says that she is getting back with Gideon. Gideon then says that he doesn’t want to fight and offers Sex Bob-Omb a 3 album contract. Scott refuses to sell out to Gideon but the rest of the band sign the deal, getting Neil to become the new bassist. As Scott mopes at the house, he receives a phone call from Gideon inviting him to the grand opening of his club, Chaos Theater. Scott heads there to try and win Ramona back and as he professes his love for her, he gains “The Power Of Love” and a sword emerges out of his chest. Scott uses the sword to fight Gideon’s security forces, then goes after Gideon but Gideon easily knocks him back. As he goes for the final blow, Knives stops him, then challenges Ramona to a fight, claiming she stole Scott. As the two girls begin fighting, Scott continues fighting Gideon and manages to knock Gideon down, then stops the fight between the two girls, admitting that he started dating Ramona while he was still dating Knives, basically cheating on both of them, when Gideon stabs Scott in the back and kills him. Scott ends up in Limbo, where Ramona shows up and apologizes to Scott for dragging him into this and explains that Gideon has her under mind control. When she disappears, Scott remembers his 1-up and restores his life then heads back to the club, apologizing to his friends as he passes them. Scott gains the “Power Of Self Respect” and a new sword, which he uses to beat Gideon and free Ramona from his control. Knives attacks Ramona but Scott stops her and says that he is the one that hurt her, not Ramona. Gideon recovers and challenges Scott again and Knives and Ramona help Scott but Gideon knocks Ramona down. Scott and Knives team up to defeat Gideon and Scott ends up kicking his head off, causing a shower of coins to fall on everyone. As Scott, Ramona, and Knives catch their breath, Scott is confronted by his evil half, Nega-Scott, and he tells Ramona and Knives that he has to face him himself and they head outside. After some time passes, Scott and Nega-Scott emerge from the club and go their separate ways, with Scott saying they had a lot in common and were going to get brunch next week. Ramona tells Scott she is going to leave and after thanking him for being the nicest guy she ever dated, starts to walk away. Knives tells Scott to go after her and after he makes sure she is ok with it, he chases after Ramona and asks if he can go with her. Ramona smiles and takes his hand before leading him towards a doorway to their future.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is fast, funny, and inventive.” When the first volume of “Scott Pilgrim” was finished, the publisher, Oni Press, contacted Marc Platt about making a film adaptation. When the film was finally ready to start shooting, the final volumes of the comic were not finished and while Bryan Lee O’Malley, the artist, gave some suggestions for the ending, he said the movie’s ending was “their ending.” The movie wound up being a failure at the box office, only earning $47.7 million off of a $60-$90 million budget.
It may be silly, and a little confusing, but this is a lot of fun to watch. The acting was pretty good, with Michael Cera doing a good job as Scott Pilgrim, though it honestly seemed like he was just playing the same character he always plays. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona) and Ellen Wong (Knives) were also really good, as were all of the Exes. I don’t know how well this follows the comics but I personally thought that the story was pretty entertaining. My only problem was that it honestly felt too long, but considering they were trying to squeeze several graphic novels into one movie, this could have been a lot longer. The special effects were pretty good and just made the movie seem a lot more like a comic book, which only enhanced the entertainment value. Might not be what you were expecting, but it can be a ridiculously enjoyable movie to watch.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5