Then & Now: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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Geoff Harris

Then

I don’t know how else to express seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World for the first time other than the dizzy creeping feeling you get after riding a roller coaster for the first time.  It’s a wild ride. I honestly walked away in a haze. The story moves at pretty good pace. Scott is a fairly average Canadian guy who seems half-aware of his surroundings until danger lurks and then he becomes a total bad ass. Falling in love with Ramona, a transplanted American, he quickly is drawn into conflict with her seven evil ex’s. (He keeps correcting her with “ex-boyfriends” until he learns she once had a “sexy experimental phase” with another girl.) Scott’s world is full of odd and yet engaging characters like his house mate, Wallace, who can turn anyone gay and also text in his sleep or his own sister whose mouth becomes redacted by a black bar and her voice a scramble of modem-like sounds when she swears. Scott and the evil ex’s all have superhuman abilities. The battles are old school pier six brawls with really well done special effects. All around an awesome experience.

Now

The movie is playing right now in the background as I write this. I’ve watched it at least three times in the last week. It draws me in. Absolutely going on my “Rainy Days Movie List.” Repeat viewings allow for deeper inspection of the little nuanced moments like random guy in the audience commenting on a bands first album being better than their first album or Scott jumping out the window to avoid talking to the seventeen year old he was dating while simultaneously going out with Ramona. That moment, as hilarious as it was, also very telling as to Scott’s character as a person. He walks around half-distracted by God knows what and only seems to dial in when his life is threatened. His life is a wandering exercise in self-pity, following a bad break-up, and borderline narcissism. He is only dating the seventeen year old to draw attention to the fact that she is indeed younger, Asian, and goes to a Catholic school. He plays bass in a garage band named Sex BaBomb, who’s sound has a contemporary Punk vibe, which I love! He’s an extremely skilled hand-to-hand combatant although there is no clear indicator of where, if at all, he’s received any real training. (Not to forget the hyperspace highway that runs through his mind Ramona can access to shorten her travel distances between two points.)

Scott Pilgrim vs The World has earned its place in my Top 100 for being everything I love. It’s qwirky. It ‘s original. It’s re-watchable. Most of all, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Too often a movie buries itself in its own pretentiousness. Either an overdeveloped plot or just horrible scene-chewing acting. (Ever see Ishtar?) I’m very relived my lovely better half didn’t have her own League of Evil Ex’s for me to defeat. Getting a bit slow in my approaching twilight years but Nega-Geoff still lurks around the corridors of my mind.

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