Review: Scott Pilgrim vs The World
The summary: it's really, really good. For a more in depth review, keep reading.
I’m going to put it out there right at the start: this could well be one of my favourite movies of all time. There, I’ve said it. I mean, I’ll have to watch it a few more times to make sure, but it’s definitely up there. Have I set the bar suitably high enough? Good. Because Scott Pilgrim vs The World is truly an epic of epic epicness.
Scott Pilgrim, the titular star of Scott Pilgrim vs The World, is a 23 year old slacker who doesn’t have much going for him. True, he’s the bass player in the band Sex Bob-Omb, but other than that, he’s got no job, no ambition, and is sharing a mattress with his gay best friend Wallace on the floor of Wallace’s apartment. Oh, and he’s got a 17 year old high school girlfriend.
Everything changes when Scott meets Ramona, who is literally the girl of his dreams. That’s because she’s been using his dreams as a shortcut to deliver packages for Amazon. But before he can be her girlfriend, he has to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends in Mortal Kombat. Now before anyone tries to take issue with my spelling, I do mean to write combat with a K. Because this movie is chock full of video game references, such as the Legend of Zelda theme playing in the background, the Street Fighter style fight scenes with their multiple punch combos, and the reward for defeating a foe – the bad guy transforms into a pile of coins.
It’s not just video games that are jammed into this flick. If you’re a fan of comic books, anime, Seinfeld, or indie music, there’s something for you here, too. This movie never lets up for more than 30 seconds without something to grab your attention. Every scene is filled with clever camera angles, special effects, animations. This is a comic come to life, complete with caption boxes and worded sound effects dancing across the screen. It’s like Edgar Wright (the director of the film) sat down with each and every scene and asked himself the question “How can I make this more awesome?” And when the answer is to have two dragons made out of techno music fight a giant gorilla formed by the music of a punk band, you know you’re onto something special.
If you’re a fan of the books like I am, you’ll notice that there’s been some changes. The movie seems to cover a time span of a few weeks, where the books cover about a year. So characters don’t develop over time in the same way and not everyone gets their time in the spotlight. Unfortunately, this means that Ramona isn’t as well developed as she could be and sometimes comes off more as a trophy for Scott rather than a flesh and blood woman with her own stuff going on and her own need to grow as a person. Despite these faults, Wright has done what I expect of all adaptions (and which is not always true): he’s made this story work as a movie and not just an adaptation. Things are different from the book. And that’s a good thing. Because this movie works as a movie. A great movie that is destined for cult fandom for years to come.
While Scott is the hero, that doesn’t mean he’s a nice guy. He’s made some mistakes in his life, especially when it comes to past relationships. We see the unresolved issues Scott has with his own ex-girlfriends, Knives, Kim and Envy, have an effect on his ability to move on with his life. It’s only when he apologises to these women, when acknowledges that he has done wrong by them and seeks his forgiveness, only then can he man up and do what is right. We can see this in our own lives. We try and ignore our wrong-doings. We play stupid when it comes to recognising how our actions hurt people. We think that things are okay but they’re not. So we end up carrying all this baggage that never gets resolved. And that’s just with people. When it comes to God, we need to magnify it by a bazillion (I’m sure that’s a real number).
Jesus died because of our wrong doings. He went to the cross so that the relationship between us and God could be repaired. You want that repaired relationship? Of course you do. It’s yours. All you need to do is believe that Jesus has done this for you. And to do that, you must acknowledge that there is a problem that needed to be fixed. That you have acted in a way that has hurt God. And then you must come before God and ask for his forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” If you ask for forgiveness, God will give it to you. No kung fu required.
I can’t stress how much I enjoyed Scott Pilgrim vs The World. It’s not a movie for everyone, but it comes highly recommended from me.