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An Epic Review of Scott Pilgrim…minor in its epic spoilers.

Yeah well, my baggage doesn’t try and kill me every five minutes.
Based upon the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley Scott Pilgrim chronicles the Toronto existence of Scott Pilgrim, a 20 something guitar playing slacker that hooks up with a seventeen year old high school student named Knives Chau. Everything is going well until he meets Ramona Flowers and in time he dumps Knives and begins to date Ramona only to find out he must defeat her seven Evil Exes. Steeped in video game, music and action/comedy this saga stretched out across six trade paperbacks and judging from the advertising blitz behind it’s presence at SDCC this year it was the Belle of the Ball.
Going into the Scott Pilgrim ‘verse I kinda of came at it bass akwards. I read the script first then the trade paperbacks it’s based on, #6 arriving just in time for SDCC. I’m going to have to be honest, #6 did not jump out at me, most the book Scott is sulking until he faces down Gideon in an epic battle that lasts…a lot of pages. I do hope Oni Press puts out a Hard Cover containing them because an Absolute Scott Pilgrim would rock.
The is the second movie based on an Oni Press property, the first being Whiteout. In the case of Whiteout even Kate Beckinsale strip tease couldn’t save it. I still highly recommend Whiteout comic, btw. Thankfully, Scott Pilgrim doesn’t suffer at all from Whiteout’s problems. On a side note, can I put in a request now for Queen & Country to be next?
Scott Pilgrim is a hit out of the park for Edgar Wright. While Shaun and Hot Fuzz were genre specific movies (Zombies and Action Bay-hem) this is the first movie that is for the inner nerd and the first he’s done without Simon Pegg or Nick Frost. And, it doesn’t suffer at all due to the cast is pretty much perfect. Ellen Wong is dead on as Knives Chau, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is great Ramona, Keiran Culkin is perfect Wallace Wells. As for Michael Sera, if you hate him with a passion then just ignore this movie and put your fingers in your ears for next six months. Yeh, Jessie Eisenberg could have been a good Scott but I don’t see Michael Sera pulling off the douche baginess in Social Network as much as Jessie.
This movie is gonna be big. When the Universal Globe comes up in 8-Bit Glory accompanied by a 8-Bit soundtrack you know this movie is going to be good. Those looking for a direct comic translation will be happy to see many scenes are kept along with a great deal of the sound effects and pop ups while others are ignored just for the sake of time. The flash back artwork from O’Malley was nice to see. You hear comic book adaptation and several lines from Star Wars (“Thousands of voices cry out in terror blah blah I fear something terrible has happened.” you get the point) run through ones mind but not with Pilgrim. This was not a Studio movie, it doesn’t feel like a Studio movie. It feels like a great collaboration between Wright and O’Malley and that’s how these types of movies should work.
Thanks in part to Forces of Geek for the free passes the audience I saw it was lovely cross swatch of Americana leaning more toward comic book peeps. The entire ex-Atomic Comics Crew was there along with several Browncoats. Everyone laughed about every three to five minutes because that’s how funny the script and movie is. There was even much applause when each Ex was vanquished. This movie does not suffer from Sorcerer’s Apprentice show all the good stuff to get asses in the seats. This is a good time as ever to point everyone in the direction of Spaced. If you liked Scott Pilgrim then go rent or buy Spaced.
Edgar Wright’s direction manages to balance the comedy with the action. Sure, there are parts where things get a little too epic or just feel too much. Dealing with a League of Seven Evil-Exs in a two hour timeframe is hard work. Certain Exs get more screen time than others. And, dealing with a Nega Copy of yourself could have pushed the movie really over the edge but instead it just got a big laugh and applause.
In the end, if you didn’t read the comic or haven’t played video games in a long time, then Scott Pilgrim is still for you. There is enough action and romance to make it enjoyable for both sexes. And, if the description turned you off because you think Scott is a major jerk for dumping Knives then it’s still a movie for you since everyone in the movie evolves even if you call evolving into a plethora of coins and tumbling all over the floor.

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