Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

"Get the hot girl. Defeat her evil exes. Hit love where it hurts."

Hey everyone, welcome to another week at The Tagline! I realized that I have been terribly remiss, in that I have not yet spoken at ALL about Scott Pilgrim VS THE WORLD. I aim now to remedy that gross oversight. For those who have hidden from the internet, comic shops, or the world at large, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was a movie based upon the Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels, the second of which shares a name with the movie. This movie is about the eponymous Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera awkward douche extraordinaire, best used in Arrested Development) who is a Canadian twenty-something loser, who is in a band that has a really stupid name and no one cares about (they're called Sex Bob-omb, which is maybe the worst name for a band ever, and a hint of the COOL RETRO GAME ADVENTURES TO COME). Scott does a lot of other great things with his life, like date a high-schooler and have no job, and live in a one-room apartment with his gay friend. This guy is, in other words, TOTALLY AWESOME OH MAN HOW COOL IS HE. It's okay that he's dating a high-schooler by the way (Scott is 22 and she is 17, I'm kidding it's not okay) because SHE IS ASIAN AND HAS A REALLY STUPID FUCKING NAME (her name is Knives Chau, not sure which Asian nation that's a traditional name in, like Trigun world I guess? She is apparently Chinese I looked it up). This is all good, but Knives is outs city once Scott meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, she will appear again whenever I review the remake of The Thing) who is so cool because she dyes her hair lots of wacky colors, and has GOGGLES, also she rollerskates places and delivers stuff for Amazon, which apparently employs its own couriers in Canada (it does not). She is apparently referred to in the comic as a "ninja delivery girl" god help us all.

Normally I don't like to spend the whole review with plot summary, but that's a large part of the punchline here, so I'm going ahead with it. So Scott pursues Ramona, who is by rights an inscrutable bitch to him all the time, giving him just enough of her interest to lead him on, by rights probably more than this low-life warrants. Scott, cool guy that he is, starts ignoring his high school girlfriend, but doesn't actually break up with her, because really why should he? I mean, I'm experiencing really confusing emotion here, because like, I don't want him to date a high schooler, but he does really bad by her leaving Ramona, who I find to be even less likable than Knives, really is there a right move here? At about the time that Scott gets barely to first base with Ramona, he is confronted by the first of her EVIL EXES, who are all about as lame and hipstery as Scott himself. The first guy is apparently Indian and fights with his "Hipster Demon Chicks". There is a brief musical number, which was so excruciatingly lame that it was embarrassing to watch. I was thankful that the theater was dark so no one could see me, sitting there and watching.

Her face sums up my feelings as well.
I won't recount the full details of Scott's epic battles, but his adversaries include a movie star skateboarder, a "Psychic Vegan" a really butch lesbian "half-ninja (I think I'm going to die before I finish this post) named Roxy, twin Japanese musicians, and Gideon "G-Man" Graves (Jason Schwartzman, you should know better dammit) who is a super hipster record guy general superhuman god-level doucheking. Also Scott must come to grips with his own EVIL-EX Envy Adams (at least that isn't really her name) who is the front-woman for a band with a name almost as stupid as Sex Bob-omb (The Clash at Demonhead?) Scott uses his awesome martial arts powers with lots of video game effects, and the power of love katana, and an "extra life" to defeat all these forces, and win over Ramona. Hooray, who cares.

I too would like to ram a katana through
Scott Pilgrim's sternum.
So now we've established that all the characters are stupid cliches, the plot is dumb, and everyone is such a douchey hipster that it makes my face hurt. There are other things about this movie that were also annoying or stupid. It's attempts to pander to video game fans for instance. The movie alternates between crumby hipster music and music from super nintendo era zelda (the fairy fountain theme). There are other video game-esque special effects that, while I'm sure are not at all weird in a graphic novel, come off really forced in a live-action movie. The script is relatively well written content aside, but ultimately the movie is filled with moments that were just so lame that they literally made me uncomfortable. 

She must be the best girl ever she has pink hair and BOOBS. 
Besides all that, I just find the central concept behind the movie to be terrifically juvenile (and don't get me wrong, I'm all for spending my afternoon playing a gameboy and talking about Pokemon at length). I don't mean it's juvenile because everyone likes video games and acting like ninjas. It's juvenile because it's clearly the fantasy of someone with the maturity level of a 12 year old boy. Who else would want to date a spastic 17 year old, who they'd leave for some other girl, who is their soul mate because why? She's sort of mean and sarcastic, has pink hair, and will be naked for them? Those are the things I know about Ramona's personality, because that's about all she is. Only a 12 year old or someone who views the world like a middle-schooler would think Scott Pilgrim is anything but a pathetic loser, and also kind of a scumbag. Scratch that, he is a pretty serious scumbag.

That Zero shirt makes me ashamed to
 like the Smashing Pumpkins.
Scott Pilgrim grossed underwhelmingly, (47 million against its 60 million dollar budget) but it was reviewed favorably. Critics thought that the movie was witty and creative, and I will grant, the script (as mentioned earlier) is pretty snappy, and there are genuinely amusing moments. The movie also tries to do interesting things with the medium, but ultimately I just find the subject matter, plot, and characters so reprehensibly stupid that no amount of clever adaptation or witticism can redeem this film. Scott Pilgrim is a stupid douche. End of story.

That's it for today! Join me again on Thursday, when I will maybe finally have a new movie to talk about.

EDIT: I feel like I might not have emphasized enough while ritualistically flaying this movie, but I really did think that a lot of the movie was at the very least amusing. I left the theater feeling really conflicted, because I thought the movie was well made, but ultimately its subject matter was just so loathsome to me that I couldn't let it go. 


  1. Ahaha, wow, I'm really glad to know that somebody else disliked this film. I too would like to thrust a sharp object through Scott Pilgrim's torso. I wouldn't exactly call Roxy a "really butch lesbian" though, speaking from personal experience. Soft butch, at the very most. Given the makeup and lacy clothes, probably more like hard femme in fact? Whatever, we queers have an awful lot of words for presentation. (I've still dated way butcher, though.)

  2. That's a good point, she isn't really all that butch, sometimes I just get swept away on my own hyperbole train you know? XD


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