Thoughts On… Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world-the-movieProbably one of the nerdiest films ever, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010, dir. Edgar Wright) is based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley; telling the story of bass-playing nerd Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), who has fallen in love with the mysterious Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but finds that before they are able to enter a committed relationship, he must defeat her Seven Evil Exes. Here are some of my (very brief) thoughts on this strange and interesting film.

  1. I actually really enjoyed Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and I’m surprised that it took me this long to finally see it. The film is pretty nonsensical and I enjoy that a lot.
  2. I loved the video game references and the cute graphics, and the quick cutting, and the general weirdness. I think the direction by Edgar Wright was top notch as well.
  3. But I do think that the momentum of the first two thirds didn’t really carry forth in the final third. The film is quite top-heavy with lots of laughs at the beginning and not so many towards the end, maybe because we’ve gotten used to the style of humour by then.
  4. Michael Cera is, as always, playing the part of a supremely awkward semi-adolescent, but what made this different was a snappier sense of humour than usual.
  5. I think my favourite part was the Seinfeld reference. I’ll never not recognise that awesome slap bass.
  6. The character of Scott Pilgrim is kind of an asshole though.
  7. And it felt like some moments were super racist. And homophobic. Which was awkward.
  8. But overall, despite the above and the lull towards the end, I really enjoyed this.
  9. My highlights were the direction by Edgar Wright, definitely the editing, and Mae Whitman as Evil Ex #4.
  10. I think this is the perfect ‘no-brainer’ film that you can watch when your brain needs a holiday. Which everyone needs from time to time.

3.5/5
Watch the trailer here.

22 comments

  1. I’ve only seen this once and ages ago, but I remember that it is a very unique viewing experience. Great stuff Anna!

    1. Thanks heaps Natasha! 🙂

  2. I love your thoughts on the movie. I talk about it in my latest blog post, along with some of Edgar Wright’s other films. You may like his other films. Check it out!

    1. Shall do! I do love a bit of Edgar Wright, particularly Hot Fuzz, I think that one’s a bit underrated.

      1. Yes, I do believe that one is the most underrated but it is a brilliant movie.

  3. Good stuff! I like the film but like the graphic novels better.

    1. Thanks heaps! One day I’ll read the graphic novels, I’ve always been intrigued by the artistic style.

  4. theipc · · Reply

    Dearest Anna –

    I’ve been so burned out on Michael Cera for so long that I’ve never wanted to see this…. : (

    #wrightsies
    #pilgrimies

    1. My dearest Eric, easily done I reckon! Although have you seen that photo of him where it looks like he’s floating in mid air like a pixie? That photo never fails to be a big LOLfest.

      #cerasies
      #pixiesies

      1. theipc · · Reply

        I don’t think so….?

  5. Always thought this was hugely overrated. I don’t remember it being homophobic or racist though.

    1. That would be the trifecta of awfulness – overrated, homophobic and racist!

  6. Nerdy but good.

    1. The perfect summary! 😀

  7. Have you seen Detention? I liked that one better than this and it had a similar feeling.

    1. I haven’t seen that one, but I’ve now added it to the list! Thanks Mel! 🙂

      1. I think you’ll like it 🙂

  8. Hi Anna, loved your thoughts on SPVTW. For me this is one of my favourite films, not only from Edgar Right but possibly of all time. I saw this in the cinema and I was blown away with how funny, kenetic and nerdy it was. As a massive gamer, the video game references whether they were visual or verbal, I got them all and they were beauitifully crafted into the film. Oh and that soundtrack, frigging awesome, I listen to “We Are Sex Bob-omb” a lot these days. This film is a little chaotic, strange and possibly overwhelming to those not invested in gaming and Wright’s style of filmmaking. I will admit I have to have big gaps between vieiwngs to keep the film fresh and fun to watch, but for the most part I still love it.

    1. Thanks so much Curtis! I love the soundtrack too, so awesome. I actually really want to watch it again already!

  9. I had a blast watching this, loved every minute of it. It’s definitely time for a rewatch. I’ll be looking for something different this time around, though, since I don’t recall any racism or homophobia.

    1. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s me being hypersensitive but the jokes around Scott’s roommate were a bit on the nose, and same goes for his younger girlfriend being Asian. There were a whole bunch of solid laughs otherwise but those jokes made me feel a bit awkward!

  10. Very nice review. I enjoy this film immensely. As adaptations go, it was pretty thankless cramming five graphic novels into one film, and the story suffers a bit for it. But Wright’s broad tone works well with the material. The evil exes are silly caricatures, but few people do those with more style than Wright.

    Oddly enough, I think it’s Cera playing his archetypical awkward nerd that most helps set the film apart from the comics, and it also helps make Scott-the-film character a better character than he might have been if they’d cast closer to the comics. Scott in the books is more earnest and not as awkward. He’s also still kind of a jerk, and spends the five books undoing his jerkiness. That’s… way, way, way more time than the film had to build Scott as a character and then attempt to redeem him. With Cera-playing-Cera, I thought Scott’s attitude was easier to buy as part of Cera’s meta-character: the clueless dork who generally means well but is still a clueless dork. With someone with so recognizable a brand as Cera in the lead role, we kind of instinctively get a bigger sense of who he is as soon as we see him, making him easier to empathize with. Not sympathize mind you, but rather we sort of instantly have a general idea of the type of character he is and need less explanation. If the film had cast someone more true to the book, less recognizable as a type, the film would probably have had to spend more time on Scott’s personality. And in the limited amount of time the movie had it would have run the risk of making his less sympathetic.

    And that’s the most I’ll likely ever write about a Michael Cera performance.

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