College Media Network

The Observer

The Student Newspaper of Case Western Reserve University
  • Home
  • News
    • Sports
      • Opinion
        • Focus
          • About Us
            • Info
            • Staff
          • Archives
          • Options
            • Login
            • Register
            • Write to the Editor
            • Syndication
            • Search
          • Advertising

          Scott Pilgrim epitomizes style over substance in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

          Adam Wisniewski

          Issue date: 8/27/10 Section: Focus
          • Print
          • Email
          • Page 1 of 2 next >
          Michael Cera's performance in Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World proved to be static and emotionless, in opposition to the unexpected warmth conveyed in Bryan Lee O'Malley's original graphic novels.
          Michael Cera's performance in Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World proved to be static and emotionless, in opposition to the unexpected warmth conveyed in Bryan Lee O'Malley's original graphic novels.
          [Click to enlarge]
          Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the story of a 23-year-old veteran video gamer, amateur rocker, and Canadian slacker who encounters the seemingly perfect girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers, and must secure their relationship by defeating all seven of her ex-boyfriends in epic battles. Directed by Edgar Wright, the mastermind behind hit movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the film is adapted from a series of graphic novels created by Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley.

          The graphic novel series has been acclaimed for its silly, surrealist, rapid-fire humor and references to various aspects of nerd culture. It also offers an endearing Canadian slice-of-life, highlighting various Toronto landmarks and activities typical of young adults in the city. Barring a few confusing and completely nonsensical plot developments that require considerable suspension of disbelief, the story develops mostly unlikeable characters into ones readers can care about, and culminates in a rather heartwarming ending. Unfortunately, most of these qualities did not survive the transition to the big screen.

          The film, starring a clueless and emotionally bankrupt Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, strips the original story of its tact and character development and progresses with awkward teenage drama at lightning speed, leaving behind any notion of actual romance, reasons to care about the characters, or reasons for the characters to care about each other. A lot of the dialogue is ripped verbatim from the books, but is presented at such an unnaturally rapid pace that the feelings don't have a chance to sink in. It is simply awkward and likely to have viewers forming some the awkward turtle with their hands.

          Gone are the majority of references and scenes that take the viewer to the wonderful land of Toronto, with the exceptions of the very direct statement that that is where the story takes place, as well as a single visit to Pizza Pizza, Ontario's largest pizzeria chain. Gone are the more clever and accurate geeky gaming references in exchange for gimmicky tack-ons that lead the more astute to believe that the screenwriter has never really played a video game, or the less astute to solidify their opinion that such activities remain synonymous with the word "loser." Subdued are the supporting characters that add depth to Scott's world and backstory.
          Continued...
          Page 1 of 2 next >

          Article Tools

          Viewing Comments 1 - 1 of 2

            austin

            posted 8/28/10 @ 3:20 PM EST

            "Nerd culture?" There is no nerd culture. Nerds are fans of the most culturally bankrupt media. Wasting one's time on video games, comic books and horrible movies doesn't make one cultured. (Continued…)

            (1 reply)   Details   Reply to this comment

            Post a Comment

            In This Issue

            News

            • Major work on LGBT Center completed
            • Meet your USG Executive Board
            • More to coffee than its morning punch
            • New international student orientation session debuts
            • Optimizing your credit cards
            • University names new controller
            • USG Briefs: Filer to be taken offline

            Sports

            • A conversation with Otto Penicka, voice of Spartan athletics
            • Another year, another slap in the face
            • Conference Previews
            • Men's XC team to avenge snub
            • Spartan Spotlight: Cindy Spahn
            • Spartan women have their eye on return trip to Nationals
            • Women's Soccer looks to build on surprising season

            Opinion

            • Flouting the system, 101
            • Letter to the Editor: Commutes Students Association offers home to all CWRU students
            • Sex and Dating
            • Spreading the wealth
            • Student body, SEC ready to move on

            Focus

            • Going back to Those Gold Soundz: I was a six-year-old Phish phan
            • Kate Voegele, Meagan McCormick charm crowd at Welcome Back Concert
            • One student's story: wielding Magic in foreign countries.
            • Scott Pilgrim epitomizes style over substance in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
            • SEC positively affecting campus
            • The Buzz
            • Welcome Back Comedy Night a real laugh
            • Welcome Days
            National College Advertising and Marketing | Privacy Policy (9/9/09) | Terms of Use (9/9/09)
            Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (4/27/09) | RSS Terms of Use

            Advertisement

            Poll

            Advertisement