Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright) 2010 No Spoilers
So this movie already has a split reaction where people either love it or really hate it. I can actually see how people could both love or hate it. The movie is about hipster geek culture and most of the jokes are centered around it and that seems to be the big problem with non-fans. Most of what I read amounts to “I don’t get it.” and the writing doesn’t help as it is content with chucking out obscure references. Also some people loathe hipster culture so they don’t want to see something which could be argued is a glorification of it. I didn’t get all the references (in fact I only knew some) but I could kind of tell Wright was in a way roasting hipsters. He likes what the culture is about but has no trouble playfully mocking it. For the most part the humor worked for me although I hate to say sometimes the jokes fell into the Family Guy method of writing where just chucking out pop culture references is supposed to be funny.
The acting is a little hit or miss. I’ll just say up front: I hate Michael Cera. I don’t hate the man personally, but I hate his persona which he plays in every single role he has ever played. It is annoying and I don’t want to watch it. Well, here Cera plays the typical Michael Cera role again but I will say it is less annoying this time around. I will give kudos to the writing to give Cera funny lines and to help him break out of his shell. But every once and a while he mumbles out emo punktard crap and you wish they found someone else. Mary Elizabeth Winstead also doesn’t have much to work with. Yeah, I know she is supposed to be a world weary traveler with a kind of “so what” attitude to life, but she seems more wooden than anything else. The supporting cast does the best job here and make the movie really funny. Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, Anna Kendrick, Brandon Routh, and Chris Evans almost outshine Pilgrim.
In fact, my second problem with this movie might be the fact Scott Pilgrim is too much of a douche to be a likable main character. He is almost too much of a whiny jerk for you to care about him and it doesn’t help Cera doesn’t quite have the charisma to pull it off. There are actors that can be lovable dicks: James Spader, Bill Murray, Robert Downey Jr. to name a few. Now I know those actors can’t play Scott, but I am simply illustrating that some people have the charisma to play jerks and Cera isnt’ one of them. Now I know Scott kind of learns his lesson by the end and becomes a more likable person, but that can be “too little, too late” for some audience members.
But overall I liked this movie. I don’t hate this movie, nor do I want to proclaim it “an important movie” (Chud) or suck off Edgar Wright like Spill did. This was an enjoyable movie which had me laughing a lot. The humor was (for the most part) fresh, the visual style was colorful, and the acting (again, for the most part) was good. There is enough here for me to buy this movie on DVD and check it out several more times. As most of you know I hate most modern comedies, so when I find one that is even ‘very good’ it is a special thing.