Sunday, August 15, 2010
My Two-Cents on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
From the very first trailer for the film, we all knew it was going to be this hipster/anime/indie rom-com/action movie, but part of me was hoping that it was going to transcend the image it initially portrayed (especially since all of the trailers and TV spots pretty much told you everything about the story). Once I left the theater, I didn't think the movie strove to be anything more than what it wanted to be, which was a hipster/anime/indie rom-com/action flick.
Now, I'm not saying that Scott Pilgrim was a bad movie because it wasn't; it was just merely good. Then again, maybe I'm just not cool enough to get this movie.
The storyline itself was as bare-bones as you can get. It's your typical "boy meets quirky girl" plot that has become synonymous with indie rom-coms, but this film just cannot stand up against others from its ilk like (500) Days of Summer, Eternal Sunshine, or even Stranger Than Fiction. The former movies did a better job of establishing characters within a strong story that the audience could get behind, and we understood why these quirky girls had the effect they did on the main guys. We really didn't get that with Scott Pilgrim, and I guess I just wanted a little more story amongst the emo/metal/rock music and video game style aesthetics.
Speaking of the video game theme, it was the major brightspot of the movie because the style brought some well-timed humor, and it was by far the most creative element of the film. Also, the take on classic fighting games segued into some pretty sweet action sequences. I was expecting to laugh thanks to the Street Fighter-esque set-ups, but I was shocked by how great the actual fights were. Kudos to Edgar Wright for putting out one of the better action films of the year.
The acting was good, but nothing spectacular. Michael Cera gave us another good Michael Cera performance, but at least this time it was a little fresher. Usually, Cera plays the awkward but sweet and sometimes wounded boy in skinny jeans. This time around he played the awkward but kind of douchey wounded boy in skinny jeans. I kind of dug the fact that we're not really supposed to like Scott at the beginning of the film because he's kind of a jerk, but of course he wins us over in the end.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead was good as Ramona Flowers, but I couldn't understand why so many people were fighting over her. Sure, she was hot in that suicide girl kind of way, but we didn't learn enough about her character to justify all of the kick-ass fight scenes. She was just another cute, quirky girl with trust/commitment issues that strings along the hero until the last scene of the film when we get the happy ever after shot. Again, Winstead was good but Ramona was no Clementine.
The best performances actually came from the supporting cast, which could be both a blessing and a curse. Characters like Wallace, Knives, and even some of the Evil Exes (Chris Evans and Brandon Routh really stood out) were more interesting than Scott and Ramona. It's great that some of the supporting characters held their own, but when they outshine the leads, that could be problematic. The only supporting role that was a dud was Scott's sister Stacey, which was a bummer because I was expecting a lot from Anna Kendrick.
Overall, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World took an emerging genre and added its own spin to it, but there was not enough story for my liking. That being said, I was entertained enough to say that I ultimately liked the movie. Sure, I wanted a little bit more substance, but the visuals and laughs were good enough to keep me happy.