Here’s what I had to say, in brief, about Scott Pilgrim vs the World:
This was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It was like watching someone play a video game, only more boring. It was sometimes slightly clever. If only it had a story, or a single interesting character, or anything meaningful to say.
I don’t remember feeling that detached from a movie in a very long time; possibly ever. It was totally unengaging. There’s a feeling that I really enjoy, when a movie makes me feel as if I am outside myself, if only for an hour or two, during which it is an engrossing, immersive experience. Even very bad films can make me feel this way if there is an engaging character, or even a really funny scene. Anything.
I might have connected to Scott Pilgrim’s character, if there was any character there to connect to. But he’s kind of a confused-looking place-holder who trudges his way through what passes for a plot.
If there was something genuinely attractive about Ramona Flowers, that might have worked. But there was hardly a flicker of life in her, but alas. She was the MacGuffin, and an empty one at that. All I knew about her was that 1. her hair changes color frequently, 2. Scott Pilgrim likes her and 3. she has evil exes. Nothing about her that wasn’t on every promotional poster for the movie.
Where I really checked out, though, was the first battle with the first evil ex. That was a scene that was so awful that I literally squirmed in my seat with embarrassment for the filmmakers. I think the fight scene was supposed to resemble a Bollywood musical number. I’ve watched a few Bollywood musical numbers, and this piece of tripe was a far cry from them.
There were occasional sight-gags, and I’ve never seen a movie that was presented in the same way, as an old-school style video-game with level-ups and coins bursting out of downed foes. That was…slightly clever, I suppose.
But there was no world for Scott Pilgrim to inhabit. One method would have been literalism – these supernatural music-fueled fights break out. Another method would have been for the musical fights to be going on in Scott Pilgrim’s imagination, with the humorous return to reality after the fact. The filmmakers went for neither; God knows why. Rather it was what I experienced as a miasma of imagery – and I mean that in the Dictionary.com sense.
Part of my disappointment was that the movie could have clearly been so much more. It could have said something.
It just didn’t.
Or, more likely, it did, and I’m the only person I know who didn’t get it.
Maybe the graphic novel is good.