I caught an advanced screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the movie I had been looking forward to as my last hope for the summer and let me sum the experience up real quick: I was grinning stupid the whole time as the audience laughed so much that the next joke was missed, and when it ended, there was cheering (even if the frame above from the comic wasn't in it).
Now let me sum it up less quick:
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is based on a six volume comic book series and when I say "volume" I mean "volume" because these each one is about 150 to 200+ pages a piece. The comic and the movie tell the story of Scott Pilgrim, a charming yet under-motivated comicbook and videogame enthusiast, falling in love with Ramona Flowers, the girls of his dreams, and having to defeat her Seven Evil Exes. The sixth volume just came out so I reread the whole series over the past week (and then almost re-reread it) and went into this movie ready to have my own Twilight experience . . . and that's what I had, an "Oh my gosh, so-and–so (actor) looks like so-and-so (character)" experience, an "Oh my gosh, Scott and Wallace's apartment looks exactly like Scott and Wallace's apartment in the comic" experience. I had wondered how they'd fit such a long comic story (the story takes place over many months, if not a year) into an hour and forty five minute movie . . . surely they'd have to leave a lot of stuff out, right? Yup, that's what they had to do, leave out a lot of stuff BUT it's incredible how much stuff they left in. The movie sticks to the first three volumes almost exactly and then goes off on its own faithful but not exactly identical direction for the last three volumes. I'm just stating facts! I'm not having beef! I'm telling you what I was most curious about! I'll definitely be seeing this a second time (and a third?) and I'll be able to just enjoy it as it is . . . kind of like how I had to see every Star Wars prequel twice on opening day, once to break the seal, then a second time to take it all in.
Stuff I Really Liked About the Movie:
- Made me understand better than the comic that Scott is a bit of an oblivious jerk at the beginning of the story . . . sometimes it's just hard to tell that a drawing is a jerk.
- The opening scenes + the opening credits: Perfect! I really recommend sitting in the middle of the fourth row so this stuff is all up in your face.
- The movie Knives Chau (that's the girl Scott is dating before he meets Ramona) was so good, I took her a lot more seriously than in the comic.
- That said, just about all the casting was perfect. When I saw the actor playing Stephen Stills I was just blown away by the resemblance . . . to a drawing.
- That said, I think Kim Pine is cuter in the book.
- To me Evil Exes 5 & 6 were the least interesting in the book, so I guess I liked that they were also the least interesting in the movie?
- BUT my favorite Evil Ex, #3 (Todd) was just perfect in the movie and so funny to see brought to life. Some of the comic's most out-there, ridiculous humor is centered around this dude and they didn't scale back on any of it in the movie (but, Yes, things were changed, duh, for the sake of getting the whole story told). . . so stuff gets especially bizarre with this guy, but it works. I'm going to leave it out.
- So many great jokes from the book were in the movie, sometimes slipped in in different ways than the source material. Some jokes were improved on, and there were brand new jokes that were really good, too. Right now I am chuckling about a difference in the final battle that, to me, the guy having the Twilight-esque experience, came out of nowhere and really tickled the old funny bone.
- And speaking of improving on the jokes of the book, it's one thing to see a video game reference drawn, it's another to hear and see it in a movie. They all work magnificently.
Oh, wait, one complaint!
- Why were so many ages in the movie different from the book? For example, Scott is 22 in the movie but 23 in the comic . . . and I don't sight this as a bit of total geek trivia, it's something that is brought up constantly in the comic. Did 22 just test better with audiences than 23?