Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Blu-ray Review

Ned Jordan
In Short
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World should have been the best videogame movie ever...

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a 23 year old "between jobs" slacker who plays bass in a band, hangs out with his friends and high school student pseudo-girlfriend Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), and not much else.  When the girl he's been seeing in his dreams turns out to be the very real Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Scott bumblingly pursues her and eventually manages to go out with him.  Unfortunately, Ramona carries some pretty heavy baggage with her in the form of her seven evil exes, each of which Scott will have to fight and defeat if he is to win her heart in the end...

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is based on the Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels.  The best thing about the film is that it is pretty true to its source material, and the worst thing about the film is that it is pretty true to its source material.  You might enjoy the film if you're already a big fan of the novels, or if you've played videogames long enough to get that Scott's band's name, Sex Bob-omb, is a Super Mario Bros. reference and can recognize a short riff of music taken from The Legend of Zelda.  For some it will be enough that the film features fight moves taken from videogames and is filled with on-screen onomatopoeias, but anyone looking for an actual movie behind all the flash and noise will have trouble finding one.  The dialog is fitting for a comic book, with short exchanges and quick cuts that can complete a conversation in a couple of panels, but it doesn't work as well for conveying story in a film.  All of the characters have the depth of line drawings, differentiated more by their particular preferred style of one-liners than any real personality.  There's no real spark between Scott and Ramona - she seems indifferent toward him throughout the movie and it seems that he'd rather be sitting on a couch watching TV than fighting for the woman he supposedly loves.  The film also suffers somewhat from the overexposure of Michael Cera, who plays Scott Pilgrim the same way he's played countless other awkward wimpy nice guys of late. 

Even if you are smack in the middle of the movie's target audience there's no guarantee that you'll like it.  By all accounts this should be a film made for me, but although I found the film interesting from a visual perspective I can't honestly say that I actually enjoyed it enough to watch it more than once.  I'm a gamer and I've read the Scott Pilgrim books, this movie should have made it easy for me to love it...

As for the Blu-ray release itself, the video transfer is excellent and the sound levels are spot on.  With all of the blaring music and fight sounds in the film it would have been easy for the conversations to be drowned out completely if the sound wasn't mixed as well as it was.  The Level-Up Collector's Edition comes packed with extra features that go beyond the standard "making of", "deleted scenes", and "blooper reel" features, although those are included here. too.  A lot of these are relatively short, but extended features on the music and pre-production work are pretty interesting and a nice inclusion.  And if you're worried that you've missed out on some of the videogame references in the film, you can watch it with trivia pop-ups that point them all out to you.  There are also four audio commentary tracks - the feature and technical commentaries are worth listening to, especially to hear the original comic's author Bryan Lee O'Malley's thoughts on the film, but the two cast commentaries are rather weak.  Finally, there's a DVD version of the film included in addition to the Blu-ray disc and a digital copy for your iPhone or PC.

Final Rating:

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Transmitted: 8/9/2022 2:21:26 PM