Scott Pilgrim will fail. â€ â€¬God,â€ â€¬I hope I’m wrong.â€ â€¬It’s not that the world isn’t ready for a smart movie. I just don’t think people are going to expect THIS film to be a smart one.â€ â€¬And god,â€ â€¬is it.â€ â€¬Movie goersâ€ (â€¬mostâ€) â€¬will come into the cool theatre to escape the summer heat for a while, and settle into their seats wanting to be simply entertainedâ€ â€¬for theirâ€ â€¬8-15â€ â€¬bucks… â€¬andâ€ â€¬they will be servedâ€ â€¬Scott Pilgrim—a film which doesn’t doâ€ â€¬what you can usually expect a film with adolescent subject matter to do. In general, when people don’t get what they expect they are paying for they feel betrayed. My fear is that the audience will feel that way. Again, I hope I’m wrong. All I hope for Scott Pilgrim is that the majority of the audience will (in addition to being wonderfully entertained!) feel challenged with something completely new flying at their faces.
To enjoy, or to understand the movie, you don’t need to know the comic book series it is pulled from.â€ â€¬You don’t need to play video games either, and the movie is full of video game metaphors and references in both the sound effects and visuals in the fight scenes.â€ â€ â€¬You don’t have to like musicals either. (While not a musical, this is a sound track-heavy movie.) Scott Pilgrim takes all of these things and crams them together in a postmodern cultural ball of cookie dough, bakes it up real nice, and calls it a movie. What a treat. But a clean, linear movie it is not. I actually felt uncomfortable watching it. Although it is probably the funniest movie I have seen in a couple of years, Scott Pilgrim is not easy to watch. But that’s because it’s like trying a new food and finding out that you really like it. I fear though that most that try it won’t like it at first taste although it truly is such a novelty. Uncomfortability in an artistic or cultural situation is one of my favorite things in the world. It means you’re being forced to accept something new. That’s exactly why I found this film inspiring.
The passage of time is irrelevant in this movie.â€ â€¬Almost a joke.â€ â€¬Cera’s character alludes to one year passingâ€ and they show Ellen Wong’s character one year laterâ€ â€¬for no reason other than to point out that it is arbitrary.â€ â€¬That’s the kind of fun this movie has. The edits between scenes are fantastic, moving you through time and space, the structure sometimes superceding the content, and the movie becomes self-aware. Like when Cera’s character actually sheepishly slides out of the frame, right off the screen. A whole lot of video game references are woven through the sound and image and choreography of the battles.â€ â€¬There are comic book references for those fans of the series—now the people on screen are magically dressed up like the people you know in that book under your bed.â€ â€¬Or if you don’t get the references (I didn’t) it doesn’t hurt you. But I’m sure it’s added value for those that are fans. When the school bell rings,â€ â€¬we see the wordâ€ “â€¬Brrrrriiiiiiiinggggâ€!!!!” â€¬shoot out of the top of the school building in the distance letter by letter in just one of the examples where the genre of film mimics the genre of a comic book. Expect text on the images.â€ â€¬Expect two and three dimensional graphics to live in a three dimensional world.â€
But this is not to be confused with a movie that is aboutâ€ â€¬movie makingâ€ â€¬or themes so deep that the audience will feel insulted.â€ â€¬You’re safe there.â€ It’s about storytelling.â€ â€¬And more specifically,â€ â€¬how a youngâ€ â€¬20-somethingâ€ – â€¬any of the characters in the movie,â€ â€¬would tell their own romantic (or coming of age) story.â€ The form the story takes–the metaphors it uses (boss battles or battle-of-the-bands references to depict a fight over a dame) and the visual and verbal epithets it pulls out of other genres, are meant to be obvious, heavy handed, and part of the humor. â€¬There’s the real candy,â€ â€¬folks,â€ â€¬from the time the lights dim. â€Every generation has their own way of story-telling–their own language that can border on esoteric, with their own cultural metaphors, and their own references to their music, films, entertainment, books, and icons. What Edgar Wright does is insist that we celebrate those metaphors and share laughs over them. This film acts as an index of the way this generationâ€ uses these references to understand their world and communicate their experiences. For instance, a video game-esque battle becomes the literal emotional environment for a duel over a girl. How will you know if you belong to the generation in question? Do you think Wright tried to define that generation when he made this film? Don’t sweat. I don’t think that’s very important. All I gather is that the generation is very broad (pretty much anyone that grew up with video games of any kind, and email of any kind) and that I don’t think he was interested in being exclusionary.