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Movie Review Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
 September 16, 2010
 
Grade:  F-
Director:  Edgar Wright Released:  August 2010
Writer:  Michael Bacall, Edgar Wright MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Players:  Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick Running time:  112 minutes
Ratings Methodology


 

Scott Pilgrim holds the honor of being only the second film I've ever walked out of the theater on (the first was Gang Related). I (and crocoWife) lasted about 75 minutes and couldn't take any more.

This movie should be right up my alley. It's based on a comic book, with distinctive visuals, a hepcat cast, and a video game aesthetic that permeates the film. For a short while there seemed to be a chance it would win me over. I liked the first 15 minutes or so, and I really wanted to continue liking it, but it went downhill pretty quick.

The problem is the film offers no reason for me to A) like the girl Pilgrim is trying to win, B) understand why Pilgrim likes the girl Pilgrim is trying to win, or C) like Pilgrim himself. I get that she's the "girl of his dreams" (literally), but when he catches up to her in real life, she's kind of an asshole. She barely gives him the time of day, she's not nice to him, and she doesn't do anything particularly interesting or endearing. She just kind of mopes around with multi-colored hair. Why would I root for Pilgrim to win over this girl when I don't even like her? And why does he like her in the first place? And why should I care when Pilgrim himself is even mopier than she is? This is the mopiest picture of all time.

Once I understood that the girl was not worth winning, the fights with the evil exes became pointless. I know he's going to win the fight, but I don't care, so I can only hope the fights are at least cool to watch. But they aren't. They're boring. You can find better fights on the original Star Trek television series or the 1960s Batman show.

Also, how is Pilgrim able to hold his own in fights against super villains? All of a sudden this seemingly normal kid can take a beating like John McClane and dish out punishment like John Matrix. Maybe it's irrelevant, but I found myself wondering about it, which was one more thing to take me out of the movie. Also, why is no bystander particularly surprised when these super-fights break out?

Scott Pilgrim works hard to be whimsical, hip, quirky, and ironic. But to what end? Seemingly only for the sake of being a movie that will be known as whimsical, hip, quirky, and ironic. My favorite quote for this film comes from Kyle Smith, "after 20 minutes, I sensed I was intruding on the movie's love affair with itself." Exactly!

And for the record, Shaun of the Dead (also directed by Edgar Wright) is a bit overrated.

- crocoPuffs

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