Scott Pilgrim vs. the audience...er, "World"
'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'
So...I finally saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World last night. I really shouldn't say "finally," though, since it wasn't at all on my list of movies to see. The pickings, however, were pretty slim at Redbox last night.
Amusingly, the tag line for the film is "An epic of epic epicness." After seeing the film, I found it really ironic, because in terms of its audience appeal, this film was an epic FAIL of epic epicness.
Now, I didn't see the 2000 film Alexander, which -- with a $155 million dollar budget -- was supposed to have been pretty friggin' epic. Like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, though, Alexander was an epic box office fail. Not having seen the latter, I'm not quite sure why it bombed. But I've seen Pilgrim and I know why this $60 million dollar movie failed: It appeals to no one.
Okay, of course it appeals to someone. But it's a very limited pool...or a very limited gene pool, if you will.
First of all, I'm sure that it appeals to the people who read the comic. The book has a justifiably devoted following; I've read one issue of Scott Pilgrim that I got on Free Comic Book Day a few years back and it was kinda' cool to see some of that issue reflected in the movie.
Secondly, it may appeal to the people of Canada, the home base of Bryan Lee O'Malley, the creator of the Scott Pilgrim comic book. There are lots of references to that mythical land of the North.
Thirdly, it must appeal to those people who liked movies like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. At the bottom of one of the promotional posters it reads: "From the director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz."
And lastly, but most importantly, it appeals to Generation-X, Generation-Y and Generation-Z white males, Jewish guys (white ones), Gay guys (white ones) and Asians (non-white ones). I say this because those are the only human groups I saw on screen for the entire 108-minutes of this incestuous Hollywood fantasy-action-comedy.
Oh, and speaking of Hollywood incest, there are Seinfeld TV show references in the movie. Whatever the fuck the Seinfeld TV show has to do with the world of Scott Pilgrim, I cannot say. But I'm sure that fans of the show got dill pickle-sized hard-ons when they heard the oh-so-familiar music cues and the canned laugh tracks from the once mystifyingly-popular NBC show.
Even more mystifying (but not really) was the Hollywood decision to cast Michael Cera as the comic book's leading ladies' man. I mean, come. the. fuck. on. Not even in a testosterone-drenched comic book fantasy would this scrawny, alto-voiced actor have PYTs (pretty young thangs) like those seen in this flick throwing pussy at him.
I mean, there's nothing even subtly Freudian about the intentions of this film. Seeing women -- one of whom is Asian, I might add -- fighting over a guy like Cera is like watching a twenty-something's version of one of Woodly Allen's middle-aged wet dreams.
Saints alive! I could go on and on ripping this movie a new one, but I want to say that most of my beef with the film is over what it could have been. It was shot well and directed fairly well. It had good (although redundant) special effects. It could have been better, meaning actually good, if the director and the producers weren't so damned busy pleasuring themselves at the expense of an audience.
You know, come to think of it, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" really is an apt title for this inbred fantasy world where the guys are white, the chicks are Asian, and the only music that anyone listens to is rock & roll. If Canada itself is actually anything like this, please remind me to never go there, because -- like the intended audience of this small-minded film -- I will probably cease to exist.