Every so often a movie comes along that you know will become a cult classic. A perfect example is “The Big Lebowski.” It had an assortment of quirky, yet loveable characters, a crazy, but fascinating plot, and some compelling action.
Scott Pilgrim vs the World will probably be another one of those kinds of movies. It didn’t do exceptionally well at the box office, but has seen plenty of afterlife in the rental and dvd marketplace.
Take any Michael Cera movie (he really plays one type of character after all,) for instance “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.” Then add the battle of the bands scenes from “School of Rock.” Finally mix in the video game Mortal Kombat,” and you’ve got the essence of “Scott Pilgrim.”
The movie was based on the series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley about a struggling Toronto musician who becomes infatuated with an American working as a delivery girl. Unbeknownst to Scott, he must defeat her seven “evil” exes in order to go out with her.
Scott and his bandmates in “Sex-Bob-omb” must contend with these bouts as well as the battle of the bands in order win a recording contract. There are so many little details, it will take a few viewings to absorb it all. One of the funny things was that Scott’s bandmates’ names are Stephen Stills and Young Neil. Scott’s gay roommate, played hilariously by Kieran Culkin (of the whacky Culkin acting family) seems to collect men as the movie goes on.
The movie has a lot of slow motion and regular speed martial arts fighting scenes, some intense rock and roll, and lots of girls. As you will see in the picture gallery, some of these females are better looking in real life than in the movie. The film is told in as one critic put it, a “free form, stream of consciousness style.” That may turn off some movie fans, but adds to the quirky delight that is “Scott Pilgrim.”
Even though the DVD was released last November, I just got around to watching it, mostly at the urging of my college-age son. On the first viewing it seemed weird, almost unbelievable. Then I started to watch the special features, of which there are a lot, but were very helpful in getting my middle-aged brain around all that goes in the movie. The blu-ray version is loaded, with documentaries, bloopers, audition tapes, deleted scenes, more featurettes, and even music videos. That alone makes it worth the rental fee if nothing else. But there’s more – you can chose to watch the commentary from either the director and writers, or the cast version.
Excellent direction by Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”) as he intercuts between the live action, the fantasy images, and pop ups that help keep the viewer straight with all that’s going on. A home run – three and a half stars for the movie and a grand slam – four stars for the DVD product.