Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

This movie made me feel old. It's not as though I didn't grow up playing video games (I did) but video games have just never been a point of reference for me. So the entire central conceit of this film--that Scott Pilgrim (the meek antihero played by Michael Cera, natch) must battle his new girlfriend Ramona's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) seven evil exes in video game fashion--made almost no sense to me. The heavily referential fight sequences got incredibly tiresome to me, to the point where, at the end of the movie, I was just ready for it to be over with.

There were amusing bits in the film, especially the more grounded scenes involving Scott's band, or Scott's gay roommate (a dry and funny Kieran Culkin), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead looked great as a deadpan enigma with changing hair. But there was no real emotional heft to any of it. In the end I didn't really think that Scott Pilgrim deserved Ramona Flowers.

I read somewhere that the director Edgar Wright wanted to end the film with a glimpse at a newspaper with its headline about a young psychotic man that killed the ex-boyfriends of a girl he was obsessed with. Personally, I think that would have been a perfect ending. A psychotic who thinks he's living in a video game world: now that's a movie I understand.

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