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The Blue & Gray Press | November 19, 2017

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Scott Pilgrim: Flawed Hero of Electric Awesomeness

By MADELINE MCDONALD and NATHAN BEMIS

“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” is a movie that didn’t do so well in the box office, but it’s definitely one you should see. It’s a story of romance, epic battles wielded with fists and guitars and second chances. It’s packed with amazing visual effects, witty one-liners and face-melting music, and it’s definitely worth the price of admission.

Scott Pilgrim is your everyday not-so-great guy who falls for Ramona Flowers, a woman with “baggage” in the form of seven evil ex-boyfriends he must confront and defeat. The role of Scott Pilgrim is a huge departure from Michael Cera’s usual wimpy hipster nerd persona. In this film, he’s kind of a jerk—but the kind of jerk that everyone might lapse into from time to time.

His flaws and mistakes make him relatable to real people. For example, he avoids breaking up with his initial high school girlfriend, Knives Chau, due to cowardice that leads to a messy end to their relationship. At the end of the day though, he’s a welcome change from the typical knight in shining armor in most blockbuster films.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Scott’s love interest, Ramona Flowers, an aloof, cool girl who travels Toronto on roller skates making deliveries for Amazon. However, this aloofness keeps us from really getting to know her or why Scott is so in love with her. The film’s two-hour runtime also rushes the development of their relationship, which is better portrayed in the comic book series.

These complaints aside, the movie is absolutely amazing. The film is punctuated by colorful visual effects that turn Scott Pilgrim’s world into a place where people shoot fireballs out of their hands, mystical battle dragons are born from synthesizer keyboards, and defeated opponents burst into piles of spare change.

Comic book visual effects are also at play here, especially in the quick transitions between scenes. Sound effects are also visualized, such as the “ding dong” of a doorbell appearing as literal text onscreen. All these make for an explosive action film packed with quirky humor.

The soundtrack is also fantastic, featuring songs written by Beck for Scott’s band, Sex Bob-omb, as well as songs by Metric and Broken Social Scene. Metric’s “Black Sheep” is a sexy, surreal track featuring Emily Haines’ haunting voice telling the story of a relationship gone bad.

Equally memorable are the hilarious songs performed by Broken Social Scene masquerading as the band Crash and the Boys. These songs parody the crushing depression of emo culture with titles like “I’m So Sad, So Very, Very Sad” and “We Hate You, Please Die.” One of the fight scenes is even set to a Bollywood dance number.

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” has a little something for everybody. It’s a love story with high-flying fistfights. It’s a gamer’s movie that still maintains a unique indie-hipster chic. But more than anything, it’s two hours of adrenaline-pumping, awe-inspiring, I’d-totally-buy-the-t-shirt greatness that demands to be seen and heard. So what are you waiting for?