“Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”
It was bound to happen. Video
games are so popular among the youth that the current “niche” movie for
the under-twenties looks like….a video game.
Forget suspension of disbelief. It’s
not even an issue. We frequently
interrupt this movie to register the points you’ve scored by “taking
out” an opponent. Oh, wait,
first we have to set up the scenario where you have opponents.
Michael Cera, the ubiquitous dork, plays Scott Pilgrim, who’s
currently leading the ideal slacker life:
he’s through with school, is in the middle of forming a band, and is
completely available to “hang out” with his friends and explore the
possibilities of dating. Working
for a living? What’s that?
We establish our “open-minded” credentials through being roommates
with a gay guy, and not being threatened, even by sharing the same bed.
Though we shouldn’t be too surprised to be asked to leave, on
occasion, you know, so things don’t get embarrassing.
His only family seems to be an older sister, Stacey (Anna Kendrick),
who does work, at a coffee shop, and provides some reality check over the
phone, and occasionally even in person. Pilgrim
becomes enamored with a high school student, “Knives” Chau (Ellen Wong),
whose main contribution to his world is being the band’s greatest
cheerleader, which isn’t so bad, but Pilgrim gets swept off his feet by a
mysterious girl on roller blades who skates first through his desert dreams,
and then appears in snowy
with him. Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who changes hair color every week
and a half whether she needs to or not, is
just aloof and mysterious enough to capture Pilgrim’s boyish attention, but
she’s got lots of baggage: seven
evil exes. If Scott Pilgrim is
going to be with her, he’s going to have to do battle with the baggage, and
defeat the “exes”, without somehow losing himself in the process.
(Like, if you start getting all jealous and angry, then you’re
boring, and you’ve become just another ex waiting to happen.)
It’s no stretch at all to suddenly see the characters assume
video-game-type superpowers, so they can brawl with wild abandon, but somehow
bloodlessly, as well. Sometimes
the action pauses long enough to label a scene with “tags” underneath the
characters (17 years old, unattached), like you would introduce a new
character in a video game, briefly, before jumping into the action.
The band’s music, of course, is garage-band style, indie-angst-rock,
The White Stripes without the bankable polish.
The scenes are in crowded clubs and downtown streets; empty parks and
basement apartments. Nothing of
“the real world” seems to enter in, other than when they enter a “battle
of the bands” contest and some of those other guys are really good.
Where is this going? We
have no idea. We’re just living
in the moment, having fun with filling in the dialogue blanks, just playing
our music and deciding, occasionally, if we want to continue:
10,9,8,7,6,……….do you want to continue?
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace