Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, the Post-Modern Male Epic

Since The Social Network, screenwriters have cinematically interrogated how social media have shaped the narratives of Generation Y.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, tells a simple story of boy-meets-girl (boy= Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera, girl= Ramona Flowers, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Weaved through this comedic romance are all the hallmarks of post-modernity, with special attention paid to the ways media (T.V., cinema and video-game culture to name a few) intermingle with our narrative patterns, creating a new male epic.

Enter our hero. Twenty-two-year-old Scott Pilgrim plays base for the “Sex Bob-ombs,”’ an indie Toronto band. After meeting Ramona, the pink-haired, punk-rock princess of his dreams, Pilgrim must break off his romantic relationship with high-schooler Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), and struggle to defeat Ramona’s league seven evil exes.

If the feature feels familiar for Toronto audiences, it’s not simply because of its proximity to popular social media; the movie is entirely filmed in Toronto, mostly in the Annex and throughout the city’s west-end.

In order to watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, viewers must suspend their disbelief and allow for the fantastical: in Scott Pilgrim’s world, vegan ex-boyfriends can possess superpowers, extra-lives can be earned by defeating opponents, and swords can carry mysterious love powers—but none of this should be difficult for a generation of viewers raised on Harry Potter and Twilight.

The movie—which is based on the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley—flawlessly translates the world of the comic book onto the big screen, with colorful freeze-frames and flashy special effects (Hollywood rumors tells that the film spent $80 million while only earning ten!)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a light-hearted social commentary on the pursuit of love—a story that has been dramatically changed in light of contemporary technologies, yet has also remained timelessly the same throughout history.

Some guys will do just about anything to get the girl.

-LM

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