Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

A 23-year-old slacker and all-round jerk (Scott Pilgrim: title character) must fight 7 evil-exes in order to date the "fair lady", Romona Flowers.

No it really isn't a game changer.

Just The Facts

  1. Based on the graphic novel series by an Asian-Canadian cartoonist, who happens to have an Irish surname.
  2. Features a group of decent actors and actresses (and Michael Cera) and it's directed by the guy who made Sean of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
  3. Apparently vegans have psychic powers because we only use 10% of our brains and the rest is filled with curds and whey
  4. Has video games physics and references for nor real apparent reason.

The Comic's Story (Cliffnotes Version)

Scott becomes falls in love with Ramona (think John Hinckley, Jr. and Jodie Foster, only without the mild buzz kill of an attempted Presidential assassination) and eventually manages to secure a date with the mysterious Ms. Flowers. Unfortunately their budding romance is cut short when Scott learns a boner-killing truth about Ramona; if he wants to date her, he'll have to defeat her Seven Evil Exes, her former flames who have organized to kill the ever living fuck out of anyone who ever tries to date Ramona.

The Movie's Story (The Cliffnotes Abbreviated Version)

Shortly after wrapping up the first novel in the series, O'Malley's publisher, Oni Press, contacted movie producer Marc Platt (of Legally Blonde fame) with the proposition for a film version of the completed series. Platt agreed, Universal picked up the rights to the film adaptation, and they contacted director Edgar Wright (the man responsible for nerd cult hits Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) to adapt the comic to a movie form and direct the film.

The Cast

With the director secured and the undying hatred of the original author drowning under a gigantic mountain of cash, the process of casting for the film began.

Casting for the leading roles of Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers would likely present a difficult challenge for Universal; both were complex characters and the actors portraying them would have to nail every one of their emotional highs and lows, from the comically outlandish behaviour of Scott to Ramona's carefully guarded nature.

Apparently the film company decided to circumvent that challenge by casting Hollywood's favorite typecast underachiever (and part-time Internet pariah) Michael Cera to play Scott. Playing the role of Ramona would be Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who Wright remembered for her "sunny personality" and who the rest of us remembered for making Justin Long look like an even bigger pussy in Live Free or Die Hard.

Stranger still was the list of supporting characters, which managed to combine big name actors like Anna Kendrick (from the Twilight series; please be creative with your derogatory terms in the Comments) and Jason Schwartzman (from The Darjeeling Limited, Marie Antoinette, Funny People... Okay, sort of well known, but he's featured on a Cracked Topics page, alright? What have you done?) with lesser known thespians like Ellen Wong (who Wright described as a "secret badass") and Alison Pill (from Dan in Real Life). Then there is Mark Webber who incidentally starred with Alison Pill in another movie (Dear Wendy) which also chances to have Alison Pill flashing for no apparent reason.


Oh for f**k sake Kanye!

The stage was set for an interesting mix of big budget actors and actresses with some people whose Hollywood careers had seen more recent downs than ups; could the film possibly manage to wring a stellar performance from them?

The Characters

Scott Pilgrim

It's Michael Cera playing ...Michael Cera!

So expect him to act all whinging, squirmy, prick. The kind of prick that manages to somehow get many hot girls to go out with him. Plus he's a teetotaller because he can't handle his drink; so his favourite party drink is coke zero.

In this crazed universe, he is capable of taking on super-powers baddies with his martial arts skills which come about from where exactly? We can only assume he was trained by some wise, old Asian master who made him do a lot of mundane tasks such as washing windows and sweeping chimneys.

Romona Flowers

She's a deliver girl for Amazon, who utilises some form of hyperspace that uses Scott's mind as a conduit (presumably because it's fairly empty).

Scott happens to fall in love with her in the oh so respectful way of "love at first sight"; which is really just a polite way of saying he wanted to shake down upholstery with her.

Of course, Scott had to try get with the girl who's created 7 evil exes out of general b******y. Scott however isn't detterred by this alarming fact, but then again Scott's not known for his good breakup record.

Likely candidate for the W***e of Babylon

Kim Pine

She is basically the same kind of disposition and personality of MTV's Daria.

A bitter ex-girlfriend of Scott's; she's also known as the "smoking hot red head on drums" for the Sex Bob-ombs.

A french maid outfit? (Sigh) Really?

Wallace Wells

Wallace is the owner of the flat that Scott happens to live in, and he believes Scott is "totally his bitch forever". But he happens to give the most moral support to our unwitting hero, even though he likes to jeer loudly from the sidelines.

Gay for violence.

Knives Chau

A Chinese schoolgirl who is dating the white hero...Geez, this really does sound quite suspiciously like some overt fanboy dream. But hey she knows kung-fu; does that help break away from stereotypes then?

A real deadly flower.

Steven Stills

He's sort of neurotic lead singer of the Sex Bob-ombs; who's hoping to transform the band into the next musical superpower.

Must be real close friends after Dear Wendy

The Villains

Mathew Patel

An Indian guy with mystical powers, based off Dhalsim from Street Fighter. He may also be a pirate and a Michael Jackson fan, although that's just speculation.

Defeating this Bollywood-loving fan happens to yield less coins then bus fare. This is probably a two-sided joke; a) Indians are cheap and b)why would he need bus fare if he can Yoga Teleport?

Lucas Lee

He's a famous action movie star who dresses up like a biker and owns his own skateboard company.

Todd Ingram

The lead guitarist of the Clash at Demonhead. He happens to a be a vegan which gives him psychic powers. Oh and he's played by Superman acting as what else... a total d**k.

He isn't afraid to hit a girl

Roxanne "Roxy" Richter

An ex-girlfriend from Romona's "s**y phase". She also happens to be a "half-ninja" although how you can be half a profession seems a bit iffy, perhaps she's only part-time. She happens to use her metal belt as a deadly whip, and can pop around the place in a poof of black smoke.

A collar?Going into BDSM now.

Katayanagi twins

A bunch of silent Japanese DJ twins who can use their musical prowess to summon two giant dragons.

Gideon Graves

Aka the "G-man", but no he doesn't work for the Government. Really he's just a club owner and a music producer.

There's a bunch of other characters but they're mostly girls who happen to have a mean disposition towards Scotty.

Why it bob-ombed at the box office

Michael Cera

Let's face it; Michael Cera is well hated and his movies haven't been going well lately. But why is he hated and why should that matter? Well considering how far his infamous diversity extends and the all-round hatred that a lot of slacker movies are getting these days, it's not hard to imagine.

It's made far worse by the fact that he was cast as main character, because the casting of the leading role is serious business. It's the so called notion of being bankable; which really means that certain actors are to some extent guaranteed to bring in the ticket sales.

But its more insidious than that. Think about all the title roles these days for successful movies and they really go to all the tall, muscular, Adonis kinda hollywood guys. Now Michael Cera isn't butt-ugly but he just isn't the kinda guy who can use charisma or looks to get people to see the movie.

They see me rollin, they laughin...

Its a comic book movie, not a superhero one.

Now comic-based movies might be all the rage these days but it's easy to forget that the people who still read these comics aren't usually all that popular. But see the intrinsic appeal of superhero movies is that of course wouldn't you wish you were a superhero. It's going to hard to admit you wouldn't want to fly around or use telekinesis so of course movies provide a facile fantasy.

But see who would want to be a 20 something slacker? If you probably already aren't one that is; it's usually a reviled position, similar to the low strata of hippies.

A fairly unheard of comic

Now we all hear about how well comic book movies are doing but its so easy to forget that the comic book industry has diversified in terms of media. Thus they still have wide and instant recognition from cartoon, videogames, TV shows etc. Not the least of which is their place within pop-culture and continuous references.

Scott Pilgrim doesn't really have any of that so its going to an uphill struggle when people are used to seeing comic book movies, they at least know a tinsy amount about.

Rated PG-13

I'm sure many of you have already seen the parody of Rob Schneider done by the guys at South Park.

Yeah well being a comedy rated PG-13 doesn't exactly instil the best of confidence.

Its bad for the obvious reason of missing out on the most coveted rating (12A) as it shortens your demographic. But it also hurts because a lot of the heavy-hitting comedy movies happen to up there in the R rating.

The problem with Scott Pilgrim vs The World is its too full of sexual themes and drinking which means it can't get 12A. But then it just isn't rude and violent enough to get an R rating. It's just stuck in-between and at the mercy of a very unreliable demographic.

The Visuals

Now loads of moviegoers love special effects as they've been a staple for quite some time. But special effects still have their on pitfalls. Take Speed Racer for instance; that movie was pretty photo-bombastic. Plus it was based off a fairly well known, popular anime. Yet the movie utterly flopped and that's probably going to be down to one of its most notable elements; that is the visuals.

See when you are using special effects in a way that emphasises how wacky something might be is always a problem. Just think back to how the original Hulk was making use of certain comic effects and how that was recieved. Not well, not well at all.

So the problem is that whilst Scott Pilgrim was going for something distinct with its visuals and its special effect, the movie totally ignored why previous movies failed in that regard.

Pixelated for legal reasons?

Lack of explanations

See although the movie explains that Scott is out to beat these 7 evil-exes for Romona, it doesn't really explain the powers. Within a context its understandable to where a certain setting can have all these amazing things; such as magic in a medieval setting, or powers within a computer. But Scott Pilgrim has all these powers and stuff without really explaining it or setting it in a place where it might be the convention.

Now people are going to be confused and even off-put if they see a bunch of crazy stuff without the ease of settling in by some setting or explanation. Its just a little too overwhelming.

Failure to advertise or have any real actor rivalries.

Some movies people want to see are only for the sense of seeing two actors going at it. We've seen it doen plenty of times such as in Demolition Man to Face off. People want to see famous personalities at it; bouncing jokes and bullets of each other.

But Michael Cera vs Jason Shwartzman, Chris Evans and Brandon Routh just isn't enough for several reasons. One is that it is of course a comedy in the first place and so you don't expect any real kind of heavy rivalries. Second is that they aren't all that comparitive in their genres; for instance Michael Cera does comedy but do Chris Evans or Brandon Routh? Not really, so it's really hard to make it seem like a competition. But then there is the lack of charisma on Michael Cera's part.

People have always wanted a pitting of Arnold "the Governator" Shwarzenegger and Sylverter "Sly" Stallone for some time. When it finally happened in Expendables it was quite amusing although it wasn't really a battle of bullets and muscle. Still people generally enjoyed those moments because of how well they were bouncing jokes of each other and how generally larger-than-life they appear to be. So its kind of like how pro-wrestling likes to entice the crowds with the prospects of these giant personalities going at it in an all out war.

But what makes that all worse is the fact that the movie has the evil Doppelganger; Nega Scott. Not only did they fail to advertise that little fact in the trailer, but they don't even show a real confrontation.

If you've seen the trailer for Tron Legacy, you'll know that they put a lot of heavy emphasis on the fascist facsimile; CLU. The advertisers really hyped up the idea of Jeff Brigdes vs Jeff Bridges and it seems to have worked because the movie seems to have made its money at the box office, for a sequel to a largely unknown movie.

I really hope that this doesn't turn out like the fight in Stay Hungry.

The music.

In a word, awesome. The music was the ONLY thing to rival the stellar Daft Punk work on Tron:Legacy.

And how many Oscar nominations did that translate into? Zero; which is just as much credibility as the awards have these days.

They give out Oscars to fictional Nazis but not Communists?

Oh but what bands did work for Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Well Metric for one. They're a Canadian band who have had some songs on Guitar Hero and been getting a lot of awards as of late.

Another contributer to the the amazing soundwork is Beck but the funniest thing is that the fictional band of Sex Bob-Omb probably makes it even better. Which is saying something because Mark Webber and Alison Pill had to learn their instruments from scratch.

So despite the lack of accolades and whatnot it has been given a lot of high reviews, even by the professional troll; Armond White. So really the movie looks to be somewhat of a cult hit and perhaps Hollywood may think to create a remake or a sequel., some time in the future.