August 18, 2010

REVIEW: Scott Pilgrim's video-game romance not steamy but visually amazing

Scott Pilgrim looks the way that would feel.

Shot like the comic books from whence the movie drew its inspiration, Scott Pilgrim v. the World is the first major-motion ‘expressionist’ movie I’ve ever seen. Dazzling colors, awesome mortal-combat-esque fight scenes, hilarious absurdist comedy, rockin' alternative music, and polite Canadians pepper the screen making it an incredible and impressive watch.

I normally don’t care for Michael Cera and don’t consider him a serious actor. He just plays his awkward self in every movie... they probably don’t even tell him that the cameras are rolling. I went into the theater fearful that Cera would screw this movie up. Thankfully, the supporting cast draws a lot of attention away from this main protagonist (Thanks Jason Schwartzman! P.S.: Pilgrim’s gay roommate is priceless) and the role was properly designed for Cera to fill.

A major flaw of the movie – which is almost entirely devoted to video-game-like fight scenes – is that the central romance is cold at best. Pilgrim, despite having a rather cute Asian high school girlfriend, is smitten at his first sight of the not very attractive, not very friendly, and quite baggaged Romona Flowers, subsequently spending the rest of the film trying to make her his. I guess I would chalk it up to the movie’s emulation of video games – heroic individualist protagonist seeking vague object of desire attainable through continuous, boss-driven combat (surely we don’t think pilgrim is actually killing Romona’s ‘evil’ x-boyfriends) – but it still leave something to be desired.

Even if I didn't like it, I'd still have to tell you that no review can do the movie justice and that you just have to see it. Beware of resulting nerdgasms.

See it.
Rent it.
Skip it.

Oh, one more thing: in the previews, there was one trailer for a movie where four people get trapped in an elevator, which cannot be reached by rescue workers, and mysterious/scary/evil/murderous things happen therein. At the climax, the lights in the elevator go out, a man strikes a match, and a sand-man-like monster pops out of nowhere. When the trailer got to the director's name -- none other than M. Night Shyamalan -- the entire theater broke into laughter. Priceless.

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