Scott Pilgrim against the world. A comic book released in the form of books, 5 released and 6 total planned, by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Well, there’s a movie now so I’m sure more people will hear of it, and hopefully the creator will also earn more money. It’s not like independent comic writers (comic sold through Oni Press, which houses a lot of independent and manga publications) are known for the piles of money they swim in.
Anyway, it may very well be that Scott Pilgrim is a reflection of the generation that I am a member of, the “Y Generation”, or in the case is, which Scott Pilgrim makes quite convincing, the “Yeah! Generation.” You see, Scott Pilgrim feels to me like an invention that hails in spirit from Seattle, though it’s actually Canada, but let us assume that it is Seattle’s spirit for the moment, the city that had brought us Grunge, the city that had brought has Starbucks. In other words, it’s a hipster city. I have hipster friends who live in Seattle or in its environs and whom I can think of as “Seattleans” in my mind – even though I’ve never actually been to Seattle myself.
So Scott Pilgrim against the world. The plot as there may be is that Scott falls in love with this girl called Ramona (note, it’s been two-three years since I’ve read any Scott Pilgrim). But there’s a problem, Ramona’s evil ex-boyfriends, all seven of them. What follows is a mocking super-hero-esque series of fights where the hipster, broke, slacker Scott Pilgrim is someone we (IIRC) find out to have never lost a fight, and who is “too cool for school”.
Note: It’s been a couple of years since I’ve read Scott Pilgrim, so on one hand consider it a review of my memory of the comic, and on the other, I use it as a stepping stone to speak of a wider issue. Thank you.
This will have spoilers. Be ready.
I’ll begin by saying that this is not me talking about my hopes for the movie, I watched the movie. The widely to be released version, dunno about the “Director’s Cut” version.
The short versions is: Unimpressed. Some people who left the screening (we were all comic book readers) said it was “Shit”, and some said they had a lot of fun, but the number of nay-sayers was rather large; I usually notice that people say it’s good or don’t form an opinion after watching a much awaited film, and the negativity mostly comes after 2-3 days, when they think about it, and realize what they’ve seen. I may be off base here, but there it is.
I assume most of you have read the comic book, but for those of you who haven’t, my description of the movie will be lacking, but I will pre-empt those who talk about “Reviewing the movie, and not the comic book” that I actually think it did better as an adaptation than as a movie in its own right.
Many of the points will seem small on their own, but they add up to the movie having neither a real soul nor its own cohesive identity. Aside from the thoughts on the aesthetics, which are small and petty.