If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is an explosive triumph of style and substance. An ensemble cast that gives almost every character a point to shine and near close to every actor a chance to show their acting chops. I mean this is the first film that gives us an honest-to-god energetic Michael Cera, which is a feat within itself. However, the film had portions that kept me from giving it a "Better Than Sex" rating. You may think I'm talking about the supposed 'slow' beginning. It isn't. I enjoy scenes if their building up to something with purpose or establishing character, and Scott Pilgrim did just that. While a good amount of my complaints are tiny things I had problems with, there are some serious character choices that I disliked with a passion.
Double Standard - Double Take
In a movie that heavily emphasizes the negative consequences of mistreating others in a relationship, the standards never seem to include the females of the movie. Scott Pilgrim comes to understand that his rather uncaring, manipulative demeanor has led him to ruining the lives of the women he's dated in his life. He realizes what an incredible ass he's been in his past relationships and asks for forgiveness for the women he wronged (or tries to rebuild a friendship when he was wronged, in the case of Envy). Ramona also discovers that her dismissive attitude ruined the lives of those she's dated and she also makes amends. Oh, wait a minute. No, she doesn't. Scott and Ramona have parallel lives in where their breakups led to their exes attempts to ruin their current relationship, yet, by the end of the film, it's only Scott that seems to learn that the emotions of hatred and anger of these exes are really just pain from rejection. To think about it another way, what makes Lucas Lee different from Knives in terms of motivation to fight their ex's current significant other? This exemplary model of double standards also applies to the even smaller secondary characters as well. Scott learns that he was wrong for 'abusing' Knives in their relationship, yet it's never brought up that Knives was only using Young Neil as a stepping stone to get to Scott. Ironically, Neil seems to be the most obvious victim in this film as his genuine feelings for Knives (shown by the hug at Envy's concert and his reaction after Todd knocks her out) were ultimately betrayed, and, by the end of the film, he doesn't have closure for his relationship. Poor Neil :'(
Nah. Just yanking your chain. This guy was awesome.
Reaction to the reaction
This is just a stylistic gripe I had while watching the film. When Scott faces off in his first fight against Matthew Pattel, there are frequent shots of the dumbfounded and surprised expressions of the secondary and ancillary characters. These shots allowed the audience to see that the characters are as taken back by the actions as the audience probably is, but also slowly allow the audience to accept the audacious physics-breaking movements of the film. This stylistic decision was made, along with many other artistic decisions, so that the audience could become adjusted over time to the world of Scott Pilgrim and the craziness that dominated it. Director Edgar Wright continues to use this even unto Scott's fight at the Chaos theater. Why is this bad to reuse so late in the game? Because seeing the surprised expressions of Kim, Neil, and Stephan to Scott's antics seem to contradict the idea that the side-characters, and, by that extension, the audience have adjusted to the absurdity of the film by now. Edgar, if the audience isn't on board for accepting this world's universe this late in the film, no amount of surprised looks onscreen are going to convince them otherwise.
The Katayanagi twins were underused - plain and simple. Terry Crews had more of a personality in The Expendables than these two blank vessels combined. Yeah, the Amp vs Amp battle was awesome, but it lacked as the two of them were just there to look Japanese and twin-ish. Missed opportunity.
Jesus Christ, you're not on All My Children. Tone it down a couple of notches.
Dear Ramona, screw you
It didn't surprise me that Edgar Wright decided to make a alternate ending to the film, after all, I never expected Scott to end up with Ramona since she was an underdeveloped hateful bag of bitch. This movie is many things, but it is definitely not a romance where both of the 'main' romance protagonists (Scott and Ramona) are developed. Besides being attractive, there's not much else why Scott even bothered to start a relationship with Ramona. She appears cold and uninterested in Scott even after their first makeout session; and when Scott enthusiastically invites her to the Battle of the Bands, he's met, instead, with a passive-aggressive, and bored, retort that she will go. After the battle with Roxy, she angrily tells Scott that she's sick of the situation at hand which is incredibly insensitive given that he's been basically doing nothing but getting his ass beaten in for her. As mentioned above, her inability to even remotely attempt make an attempt to apologize to her exes for how she treated them is not exactly a lovable, or changed, character trait. Speaking of poor decisions, I thought the whole "Gideon was using mind control" was a complete cop-out. This decision takes away any responsibility that Ramona had for her actions and cheapens the affect of leaving Gideon and going back to Scott. Imagine if the real reason why Scott dumped Knives was because of a computer chip telling him so. Yeah...that's lazy-ass storytelling. Even near the very end of the film, does she attempt to stay with Scott and work out their problems? No, her reaction is to run away from her problems like she always does, and it's only Scott's decision to go with her that keeps the relationship alive. As you can tell, there is only one person in this coupling that seems to be working hard in the relationship to keep it afloat. I dislike Ramona Flowers, and if they ever do make a sequel, I hope they pull a Alien 3 and kill her dumbass offscreen in the first five minutes.
A Direct Address to the character of Wallace
"You can't say you didn't see this coming." No, Wallace, you bastard. No rational human being would suddenly assume 7 Xs on the bottom of a page means "7 pissed-off exes are coming to kill you for attempting to date me."
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is not a bad film. It's a great film. However, it is these minor annoyances that keep the film from obtaining top-tier status of storytelling. So those are my two cents, I eagerly await your comments, questions, death threats, or insults against my masculinity.