Movie Review: SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLDUniversal Pictures

“We are Sex Bob-Omb and we are here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff.”

In case you’re wondering, no. I haven’t read the comic book series this movie is based on. It’ll probably make the indie comic readers snort in elitist amusement (ironically, of course), but my tastes in comics are based in the superhero and supernatural genres, both the mainstream and indie comic industries. And while I have an appreciation of the cult following the Scott Pilgrim title has, on first glance my thoughts were that it seemed like a comic that needed more zombies.

I’m always down for a little comic book adaptation action, though, regardless of whether or not I’ve read the source material (for instance, I absolutely adore Ghost World, though I’ve never picked up the comics its based on). So it was inevitable I’d see this movie sooner or later. And since I had some time to kill that Friday afternoon, and would get the matinée discount, I figured why not?

Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained with this movie. It’s quirky, non-linear, heavy with the video game geek references, has tremendously witty dialog, and the cinematography and effects were beautify shot. The cast worked pretty well, despite having a Culkin that isn’t Macaulay playing the token gay guy character. I do think Michael Cera is in danger of being trapped in typecasting limbo, as he plays another awkward geeky character.

Non-sequiturs abound gloriously, and I liked how nothing is attempted to explain the high level of quirkiness, leaving the viewers to just assume it as a given. Or maybe this kind of thing happens all the time in Canada. I’ve never been there, this could be a documentary for all I know. Add to this, it’s directed by Edgar Wright, the guy who made some of my favorite genre flicks in the past decade. He did a good job making something outside of the box, indeed.

With all that’s going for Scott Pilgrim, one has to ask: Why didn’t I love this movie to pieces? Well, aside from the unfamiliarity with the source material – which is a minor thing, really, as I’ve mentioned before – I didn’t really feel anything for the characters. Really, the title character came off as self-absorbed and clueless, dumping on his current girlfriend who’s completely devoted to him (if not a bit on the creepy stalker kind of way) for someone who doesn’t really seem even remotely interested in him, even at the end of the film. All I really felt for the character was annoyance and mild contempt. The same goes for the rest of the characters, really – self-absorbed wankers and unlikable. That, and indie music. I really don’t like or care for indie music.

So, basically I completely dug Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World on a visceral level, but overall it didn’t make me want to check out the comic it’s based on. Or own the DVD. For that matter, I could have just waited to rent it, instead of watching it in the theater, matinée discount or not.