VIDEO: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

Mr. Mendo sets himself up for more hate mail by taking apart Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the most relentlessly smirky, bombastic, overstuffed big budget comedy since Hudson Hawk. Or possibly even Leonard Part 6!

Michael Cera plays a 20 something slacker (shocker!) living in Toronto, who falls in love with a girl with seven evil exes, among them Superman and Captain America. Scott has to do battle with each ex in a series of Nintendo-inspired fight scenes, while writer-director Edgar Wright shamelessly attempts to create a new cult classic by stuffing in the maximum amount of video game in-jokes possible.

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  • Michael A. Novelli

    I know I shouldn’t enjoy taking on sacred cows so much, but they just make me so angry…

    • Mike

      About time somebody gave it to those hippie slacker Canadian wanna-be’s. Kudo’s to you, sir.

    • starojustice

      I’ve got nothing wrong with you taking on “sacred cows” (I don’t see the appeal of a lot of these movies myself), but it just seems kind of weird to me to focus on those when the opening crawl shows footage from so many universally panned movies. Like Zardoz and Supergirl.

      • Michael A. Novelli

        Well, the credits were made at a time when the show was originally gonna go in a different direction. This was, at first, just going to be a video version of our regular recaps, but I’ve since felt the need to stretch out a bit…

        • starojustice

          I’m not saying it’s wrong, and I suspected that was the reason. It just seems a little weird considering the movies that have been showing up in your show lately.

          • Michael A. Novelli

            Well, one could take it as me saying the movies I review are just as bad. Sure, we’ll go with that…

    • SpadesSammael

      Awesome, does that mean you’re going to take on Citizen Kane soon? I hate that movie.

      And no, I say that with no sarcasm.

      • Michael A. Novelli

        While I’m not opposed to that idea on principle (yes, someone should be allowed to point out why they think Citizen Kane is a bad movie if they so choose), the reason I won’t is because, in my eyes, Citizen Kane isn’t guilty of anything other than just not doing it for me. There’s a certain “It Factor” I look for when choosing films to review. The Leprechaun films were all monumentally bad in their own rights, but Leprechaun 6 stood out from the pack by, inexplicably, being unspeakably racist.

        Seriously, we had to leave out half the script because it would have been too much…

    • Xvbones

      There is a strong difference between a ‘sacred cow’ and a ‘forced meme’, Mr. Novelli.

      Scott Pilgrim does not fall within the former category.

      • Michael A. Novelli

        In terms of internet fanboys there’s very little difference…

  • maarvarq

    I didn’t think this was a profound film (and yes, it is very faithful to the style of the original comics), but I had fun watching it *shrug*

  • Premier Blah

    I’m still not sure why they made the movie in the first place (although the comic was alright), so I wasn’t surprised by its business.

  • Handsome Pete

    It’s like Catcher in the Rye meets Furi Kuri.

  • Michael A. Novelli

    Don’t suppose anyone caught what the end credits music was?

    • One of the Castlevanias, I believe, but I can’t remember which one….

      • starojustice

        Second one, I believe.

        • Correct. “Monster Dance”, from Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest. (What a horrible night to have a curse.)

          Yes, I am a massive nerd, thank you for noticing.

          • Michael A. Novelli

            Very good, and now for the lightning round!

            What was my drinking music?

          • That would be Von Kaiser’s ring entry fanfare from Punch-Out.

  • Monterey Jack

    Ohhhhh, I *really* don’t like you right now… ;)

    Seriously, you’re taking the whole movie WAY too seriously. Asking why Scott suddenly knows kung fu fight moves is kind of like asking why characters suddenly burst into song in a musical. For me, Scott Pilgrim was one of the most enjoyable movies I saw last year.

    • I actually thought Mendo would get more hate for this review. I guess I’ll have to take up that banner.

      Mendo, since you hate this movie you are a gay, racist jerk. So there!

      Seriously, though, I love this flick and I’m not even a hipster. My only problem with it is he should’ve ended up with Knives. She was absolutely endearing.

      • Monterey Jack

        Scott *did* end up with Knives in an alternate ending featured on the DVD. But test audiences hated the idea of Scott spending the entire movie fighting for Ramona, only to end up with a different girl at the end, so they re-shot the ending. Also there were a number of scenes setting up the appearance of “Nega Scott” at the end, but Edgar Wright found test audiences thought it was funnier to have him show up with no foreshadowing whatsoever, so the eariler appearances of NS were trimmed out.

        • Cristiona

          Why do “test audiences” always like the stupidest shit? I mean, I just found out the other week that the reason I have to suffer through those damn Beta scenes in The Last Starfighter is because test audiences loved the character.

          Where do these audiences come from? Belview?

          • Michael A. Novelli

            I agree. As Bruce Campbell once said, the sole purpose of test audiences is to remove any traces of villains actually being evil…

          • Steve Potter

            Or the changed ending to Little Shop of Horrors. Although I actually did like the changed ending. It worked better for a movie, anyway. But if you hear Frank Oz talking about it, it’s extremely sad.

          • Corotic_Nog

            And lest we forget, the “let’s contradict the entire goddamn point of the story” ending to the Will Smith ‘I Am Legend’ movie…

  • Liam

    I don’t know who you asked, but the movie really doesn’t do the comic justice. As with all adaptations of a printed work, you just don’t have enough time to get to know the characters, particularly since they have to jam seven fights into a 110 minute movie. They cut out huge chunks of the story, including bits that were actually important to the plot, and turned Scott into a smug prick instead of a genuinely insecure young man.

    Though he was still kind of a prick…

    I’m not going to put the comic up on a pedestal or anything, but it’s better than the movie would have you believe.

  • Monterey Jack

    Question…why are people who dislike Scott Pilgrim so irrationally ANGRY about it?

    • It wouldn’t make for much of a video if he was just mildly angry.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Um, that part at the beginning was a fake out. Just so you know…

      • Monterey Jack

        It’s not just you, but Scott Pilgrim reactions always tend to be broken into two categories: I LOVED IT!, or I HATE IT AND I HATE YOU FOR LOVING IT!!! I just wonder *why* the hatred. Not since Juno has their been such frothing rage against such a benign movie.

        • Michael A. Novelli

          Well, Juno is another movie the internet feels the need to browbeat people into liking…

        • Michael J. Schwarz

          There was also, “I love this movie and hate The Expendibles for making more money and burying it at the box office.” I seem to recall coming across that at one point…

          • Michael A. Novelli

            That’d be Movie Bob, I believe…

          • Michael J. Schwarz

            …and his minions.

            EDIT: But, yeah… his multi-week “response” shaped my enduring perception of this film.

            On your serious question: I suspect, the film speaks to (or maybe just validates) a certain brand of manchild’s empowerment fantasies.

          • Michael A. Novelli

            Is it progess that “empowerment fantasy” has changed from “musclebound he-man” to “unlikable pipsqueak who can somehow kick the shit out of everybody”?

            It’s been a while, but it still bothers me that Scott won’t avenge Knives getting PUNCHED IN THE FACE but fights Brandon Routh because he makes fun of Toronto! This is the person you want to be, fans of Scott Pilgirm…

  • kennzeichen1d

    Old people be hatin´! (phrase courtesy of Howard Kremer of “Who charted?”)
    Let them have it!

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Old? I’m 24…

      • kennzeichen1d

        24, huh? Aah, I remember when I was that age. That sucked. Glad that´s over…
        Sorry. the “old people”-thing is nothing personal. Shall I explain? No? Alright then:
        I usually listen to a weekly podcast on called “Who charted?”, where Howard
        Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack and a guest take a look at the charts, none of which have much appreciation for contemporary music (or motion pictures), so the early reactions from listeners were “Old people be hatin´ again.”, which came to my mind while watching your video, appropriate or not. Yep. Tha´t´s it.

      • Steve Potter

        24?! I hope I have a mustache like that when I’m your age!

  • Perhaps you can enlighten me, by why exactly does Knives follow around weenie-boy in his quest for blue hair girl? I don’t quite understand that.

    • Xvbones

      Because Scott Pilgrim is the pillar that the entire universe he exists in rests upon.

      There are no characters in this movie that are not directly tied to Scott Pilgrim.
      Every single person that appears in the movie interacts with Scott.
      There is literally no side story that doesn’t feature him.

      When he is not on-camera, people stand around going “Where’s Poochy?” Scott. I mean Scott.

      Scott Pilgrim is a kung fu superhero who can fly and play the most killerest bass you have ever heard. He is magic and can kill you with his hands and then you will turn into coins and he will spend your corpse on pretty trinkets to distribute to the raging hot women who exist for no reason other than for him to give them pretty trinkets, bought with your corpse.

      Scott Pilgrim can return from death.

      loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding x guilt x shame x failure x judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side


      • Mace Face

        Compensatory Narscissim.

        • Michael A. Novelli

          Or horrible writing?

          YOU make the call!

    • The Crazy Fish

      Actually, good question.

      “Gee, my new boyfriend is totally into someother chick. Rather than feeling jealous, insulted, or even slightly sad I should instead totally support him in this and do everything I can to help him get the girl of his dreams! That totally makes sense!”

  • Jmaugrim

    Personally, I do not like the comic. I have seen one or two clever things in that book and they were on the back cover. You would think that I would love to read a comic so ingrained in video game culture but I hated it. I couldnt get through the first one and dont wish to try. But like with everything there are those that enjoyed it. That said, I can imagine that this movie is not great.

  • Jmaugrim

    i do like penny arcade though….

  • inanimatt

    Personally, I like the comic and the movie. Neither is a masterpiece, they were simply love letters for video game/comic fans.

  • spiff2268

    Good review, Mr. Mendo. I, like you, also dropped out of college and joined the Army. Way back in 89.
    Anyway, even though I didn’t take away any profound meaning from this movie I thought it was pretty good in a silly kinda way.

  • Chris Swanson

    So, yeah. This movie. I actually kind of liked it in a goofy sort of way, at least for the first couple acts. It did got bogged down in very repetitive fight sequences that were clever at first until you realize there’s five or six more coming. And, yes, most of the problems with the film are also present in the comics where, if anything, Scott is even more of a self-absorbed twit.

    But as a bit of summertime escapism, there’s certainly far worse choices (I’m looking at you, Michael Bay’s entire filmography), and I’m sure my mild ADD probably helped quite a bit in my enjoyment of it. Oh, look! A cloud! See ya!

  • fknrat

    I hated this movie from the get-go. The entire time I felt like it was trying to shill me easy hipster products – look! Lookit our big shiny movie filled with video games, 80’s and comic references! It’s even based on a comic! That’s what you like right? Please like this movie!

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Finally, somebody gets it…

  • Evilgidgit

    I loved this movie. I thought it was the second best 2010 film after Toy Story 3. Nevertheless I can respect Mr. Mendo’s opinion. I just found the film to be really fun and enjoyable to watch.

    • chromesthesia

      It was entertaining….

  • Michael A. Novelli

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned the shirt, yet…

  • Xvbones

    I’m actually a fan of the Scott Pilgrim comics, despite them being seriously insufferable hipster douchbag tracts. Seriously insufferable. This movie was god-fucking-awful.

  • Dan

    I have to admit, I do live this film. I don’t project anything on to it about how it reflects my life (I’m 31 FFS). I like the visual effects. I like that every part is well cast (especially Kieran Culkin). I like about 95% of the dialogue. I’m a huge fan of Edgar Wright, ever since I first saw Spaced. Most iof all, I like the fact that they tried to a comic book movie that was different from every other comic book adaptation out there. The only only thing I don’t like is the fact that the girl that is the object of pretty much everyone’s affection is nothing more that a giant, walking, McGuffin with no actual personality.

  • Dan

    Oh, and by the way, why has Highlander 2 never appeared on this site?

    • Xvbones

      I saw Highlander 2 in the theaters, with my father, and have not since then.

      Regardless, my memories of that movie are still crystal clear and perfectly exact.

      I will do the full recap of Highlander 2: The Quickening for you, right now.


      FUCK YOU


    • Michael A. Novelli

      Nobody who’s ever worked here owned a copy or felt like paying for one, I suppose. As for me, I always felt that everything bad that can be said about H2 already has, so I wouldn’t get anything out of recapping it. This is also why I’ll never do Exorcist 2.

      However, if you’d like to submit an audition of yourself reviewing it (if it means that much to you), you are more than welcome to. The more the merrier, I say…

  • Xvbones

    Oh, i nearly forgot: to answer your question, no, this is nothing like a journey of self-discovery following college at all.

    For all the movie/book’s attempts to convince us that Scott is a long-suffering everyman, it’s impossible not to notice that both book and movie fully celebrate Scott Pilgrim and every inch of his scrotum.
    Everybody likes him, everybody is cool to him and anyone who doesn’t like him is branded ‘evil’ and literally destroyed.

    He has no problems he does not invent himself.

    Much like Inception, the world of this movie/book is completely constructed around the main character. Nobody else matters unless they matter to the main character.
    Shit, even the sullenly hot drummer girl is still getting over being dumped by Scott, a process you’d think would take one half of one half of one second.

    His angst is contrived from his ‘relationship issues’, which involve his absolute-zero effort hooking up with hot chicks who are wildly out of his league (seriously, Michael Cera is not a fucking heartthrob and Scott Pilgrim of both book and movie is frankly a self-obsessed dick – a character attribute that is only grudgingly noted as a negative trait at the very end for half a second with a hilariously insincere one-line apology and them BOOM BACK TO THE SELF OBSESSION YAY YOU SCOTT YAAAAY YOU.)

    Lip service is paid to Scott’s economic status in that he sleeps in his gay roommate’s bed, but that is literally all we see of this most basic and yet most insurmountable of early independent life hurdles – what the fuck does Scott do for money? What does he do for food? What about his bills? When I first got out of college, I lived in what was essentially a watercloset and existed on ramen and packets of condiments swiped from the diner down the street. Scott has literally no cares beyond which ridiculously hot girl he would like to impale on the ol’ Pilgrim.

    I mentioned below that I am a fan of the comics, this is because of the art style and the amount of drugs I put into my system. I am a fan of these comics in the same way I am a fan of Kaiju films and action porn starring Tony Jaa: they are entertaining but BY NO MEANS can they be considered ‘good films.’

    Scott Pilgrim, of the book and movie, is a celebration of self-obsession.
    He is not the Everyman the script insists you see him as, he is the Everyhipster.
    The world is there strictly for him to exist in it.
    You are there strictly to admire him.

    It was made for and by the sort of insufferable hipster douchebags who do honestly think ‘bi-furious’ is ironically clever and do not understand that ‘ironically clever’ means “YOU ARE FUCKTARDED FOR LAUGHING AT THIS.”

    It has been, honestly, quite a long time since I left a theater feeling so furious at a film. Furious.

    Honestly, Mr. Novelli, you could have been a lot harsher on this miserable puddle of piss.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Believe me, there were many more issues that I took with this film, but, like most things that get left on the cutting room floor, it came down to a matter of pacing. In the end Albert and I agreed on what the absolute worst points were and trimmed it down to a point were I could be thorough and still have room to improvise.

      I may come back someday and go more in depth, though…

      • Xvbones

        In my opinion, don’t, don’t come back here unless you’re doing a retrospective on unlikeable or inexplicable heroes that behave in singularly unheroic manners, Ferris Beuller archetypes gone horribly horribly wrong. That sort of thing.

        This movie to me is very much like ‘Lady Gaga,’ both are honestly flat-out ~desperate~ to be discussed and frankly neither is really worthy of it.

        They are like easter eggs, they have really fancy, elaborate and colorful shells but there’s really nothing inside.

        (I want to point out that I just compared this movie to Lady Gaga and then compared the comparison of this movie to Lady Gaga to an easter egg.

        None can torment metaphor such as I.)

        • storyteller

          you actually used a simile

  • The Crazy Fish

    With apologies to Michael Novelli, I’m having trouble even watching this one. Normally Novelli’s videos are alright, but this one just keeps missing the point so hard. The movie keeps making video game references? Duh, genius. That’s the entire point. It’s weird and geeky? Entire point. Arrogant and acts like it wants to be a cult classic? That’s because it’s an adaptation of a cult classic graphic novel.

    Literally everything you complain about here is the entire point of the book and therefore the entire point of the movie too.

    I mean, you might as well complain that Watchmen sucked because it was about superheroes, or complain about how Wild Wild West was so into steampunk, or how Armageddon kept on bringing up the meteor.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      It may have been the entire point, but that didn’t stop it from being “nails on chalkboard” annoying. Ergo, the entire point was to piss off people like me. That’s discrimination!

      Or not.

      Either way, a movie only being intended for a small audience doesn’t earn the right to be protected from criticism from the majority that it isn’t intended for. Public fora do not work that way…

      • The Crazy Fish

        “Either way, a movie only being intended for a small audience doesn’t earn the right to be protected from criticism from the majority that it isn’t intended for. Public fora do not work that way…”

        Actually, yes, it kind of does.

        I mean, if I were to say that, for example, Citizen Kane is a shitty movie and that everyone who likes it is an idiot, and then defended it by saying “Well, I wasn’t part of the target audience and that means I’m allowed to call it bad.” you’d tell me I was a moron.

        You’re not the target audience. All the video game references that other people would call awesome seemed like pointless pandering to you. The entire metaphor about trying to survive in the adult world after spending the last 20-something years of your life as a kid went completely over your head because you never went through that.

        And you know, that’s fine. That’s not a problem. If you were to say that you personally didn’t enjoy the movie, that it held nothing for you, that’s fine. I’ll accept that because that’s your subjective opinion and, honestly, I can totally understand how and why you feel that way.

        But that’s not what you said. You made an objective statement about the quality of the movie and that means you need to give evidence to back up that claim. Instead you just poked at “flaws” that were really entirely your own issues and not faults with the movie itself. Sorry, but “I didn’t get the jokes or the message” is not valid evidence to prove that the movie is bad.

        No, sorry, but you’re wrong this time, dude.

        • Michael A. Novelli

          Well, I would argue that I did in fact “get” this film and that it still did nothing for me, but I digress. Saying that you can’t dislike a movie that wasn’t aimed at you is a slippery slope. You’ve basically postulated that no one has the right to complain about any movie, because every film has some kind of fanbase. If you’re not in it, then it can’t possibly be bad, even if all logic would dictate otherwise.

          I’m sorry, but that’s not a sound argument…

          • The Crazy Fish

            No, what I’m saying is that saying “I disliked this film” and saying “this film is bad” are too very different things that need to be argued differently. The former really needs no argument, but the latter does need proof.

            I’ve seen nothing to suggest that this movie was bad, only that it doesn’t appeal to certain people. Unless you’re trying to say that not appealing to everyone makes it bad, in which case every movie is bad and the word “bad” becomes meaningless.

          • Steve Potter

            Do you like Citizen Kane? I ask you this because you’re becoming one of my favorite critics around and I must admit that I don’t like it! GRANTED, I saw it when I was a kid, but I also saw The Truman Show when I was a kid, and that’s my favorite movie. Heck, I saw Ben-Hur the same year I saw Citizen Kane, so I think I was able to enjoy movies like that! Granted, I was too young to notice the cinematography, but I could appreciate and evaluate story, and I gotta say… It was lacking.

          • Michael A. Novelli

            I don’t dislike Citizen Kane, but I just can’t really get into it. Not that I’m actually comparing the two, but the most similar experience I can think of is watching Triumph of the Will. I watch it, and I recognize and appreciate how innovative and influential the camera work and editing is, but the content does nothing for me. Maybe it’s just the “I Love Lucy Effect” but to me the cinematography and score overwhelm what feels, to me, like an unoriginal and fairly week story.

            And yes, despite the fact that no one wants to admit it, TotW was VERY influential. Trust me, if you’ve seen a film made in the last 75 years, or a televised address, or a documentary, you’ve seen shots and sequences cribbed from Riefenstahl’s second most famous work…

            Personally, I’m more of a fan of her film Das Blaue Licht. Simply magical!

    • The Crazy Fish

      Okay, I finished the video. It does get better, but yeah…

      Here’s what I’d say to your big question:

      I actually dropped out (well, fell out more like, because it wasn’t my choice) of college and I’m trying to get shit in order in my life and I’d say it’s a very good metaphor for being just out of college. hen I was in school total strangers would honestly try to help me out if they thought I needed it, and it was possible to get ahead just by doing what you’re told to do and doing it well. Now that I’m not in school anymore everything became so much harder. No one wants to help anymore; if anything it seems like most people are more inclined to feel like they have to stop me from succeeding at all cost. Just doing what you’re told and doing it well doesn’t work anymore either. That doesn’t get you rewarded, it gets you taken advantage of.

      I honestly feel like I have to go through a massive battle of my own for what I want. And not even for big things, either, for EVERYTHING. Let’s say I want to get a job delivering pizzas for Dominos. First I have to overcome the employee who tries to throw away my application because he wants to stack the deck in favor of his cousin who also wants the job, and the night manager who doesn’t like the fact that I have long hair, and the general manager who refuses to hire me because I’m male. (Yes, this happened, she even admitted it, though it wasn’t a Domino’s manager, it was a department store.)

      Now, to your question of “does this really speak to you” I think you’re looking at it the wrong way. It’s more that the events of the movie are what I WISH could happen. Everything in my life is an uphill battle against douchebags who want to keep me down. It would be wonderful if I could just punch them through a damn wall and get everything I wanted. It would be great if simply believing in myself would give me everything I needed to win.

      • Cristiona

        Huh. You had a hard time adjusting to adult life and the real world. There’s a club for people like you. It’s called Everybody. We hold meetings at the bar.

  • simian

    I liked the movie but I can’t disagree with any of your criticism. I read the first volume of the comic and thought it was painfully over rated. I saw the movie in the theater … why the hell did I do that? … and found it tolerable but still not my style. Nonetheless when it came out on video I felt compelled to watch it again (which, considering how disposable many movies are these days, is still high praise) and found that I enjoyed it. The most defense I can offer is that, yes, it’s a really stupid movie once you look at it in terms of story structure/characters/dialogue (I dig the music, though) but–and this is due probably entirely to the talent of the director–it’s a slick production that entertains on its sights and sounds alone. Sometimes that’s enough. I’ll go with my usual comment: I’ve seen EVERY Van Damme movie and enjoyed most of them. Sometimes you just want crap.

    • The Crazy Fish

      This is the number 1 problem with sites like this. They’re built on the assumption that every work out there falls into one of two categories:

      1) High art that is deeply profound, universally enjoyable, and never even thinks about special effects because those are “pandering.”


      2) Complete shit that’s enjoyable ironically at best.

      Van Damme movies (well, the good ones) aren’t crap that you put up with because it’s fun, they’re fucking awesome. You just need to realize that “entertainment and awesome action” IS in fact a valid goal for a movie to have. If anything, entertainment is the ONLY goal a movie really needs. Thoughtful messages are secondary. Explosions are secondary. Hell, acting and plot consistency are secondary. If you don’t entertain me, you failed, no matter how “great” you are. If you do entertain me you succeeded, no matter how “low-brow” you are.

  • Tim Terrell

    When I went to see the movie I expected to hate this hipster shit. And Cera was horrible as usual. But despite this, I liked the movie. I see it as an enjoyable cartoon, nothing too deep, similar in vein to the Warriors, Mad Max and Death Race 2000.

    Novelli, do you see the relationship with Knives as inappropriate or not? First you call it statutory rape, then you say Scott should be with Knives at the end. Which is it?

    As for your claims that there is no suspense in the fights because Scott seemed to be invulnerable. Superman was invulnerable during the battle with Zod and crew in Superman 2. I guess you thought that was shit, too.

    Then you tell us that this movie has failed to become a cult hit, the way that Repo The Genetic Opera failed. Except Scott Pilgrim was a cult hit almost as soon as it left the theaters. I think you are one of the 5 people who saw it and didn’t like it. It’s fine to not like a movie, but when you presume to speak for the rest of the audience, you cross the line from movie critic to a very delusional person.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      1. While I am seriously skeeved out by Scott and Knives as a couple, Ramona is such a bad match for him that I back Knives by default.

      2. Yes, I did think that the fight at the end of Superman 2 was boring.

      3. You know what else tried to make itself a cult phenomenon? Buckaroo Bonzai. The fact that it eventually became one does not disprove that making itself appeal only to a small group of people worked to its detriment vis a vis how well it worked as a film.

      4. If you think that disliking Scott Pilgrim is unusual, you need to get out more.

      5. Even if Scott Pilgrim is well-liked in certain quarters, quality by popular consensus is not a valid argument…

    • starojustice

      Yes, as a matter of fact fights between invincible characters are boring. They’re invincible, so neither one of them can lose. It’s especially boring when the hero’s invincible and his enemy isn’t. Doing an entertaining fight scene is balancing out the knowledge that the good guy always wins, but making his opponent credible enough that it seems like he might not.

    • starojustice

      Yes, fights between invincible characters are boring. Especially when the hero’s invincible and his enemy isn’t. Doing a good fight scene’s mainly about balancing out the knowledge that the hero always wins by having him face someone credible enough to make us think they might not.

  • Premier Blah

    I like the fact that of all the comments, half are about the movie itself. The other half is calling Mike a fucking idiot. :-S

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Truly, I have arrived…

  • Nc_mike83

    In response to your serious question – no. This movie is ridiculous…however, it’s ridiculous in a good way. I completely understand your arguments and I do agree that the movie has very little to no explanation for half the things that are in it. The movie is just too clever and has some really good lines and routines in it; it’s also pretty impressive from a visual standpoint. I actually had it in my top 10 for 2010 (near the bottom along with Exit Through the Gift Shop, True Grit and Never Let Me Go) because it’s nothing more than a fun ride.

    “(wheel stops between “on her” and “gotta pee”) I gotta pee on her. No, wait!”

  • kremzeek!

    yeah,this movie is garbage.michael one-note cera is a talentless hack.

  • Forevercl

    I’m not really sure why this movie is polarizing but if you didn’t like it your in the wrong age group and/or your uptight. This movie was one of my all time favorites.. The more I watch it, the more I pick up. Its like playing a good game over again. You get more out of it. I know who wrote the script for this movie review and am going to have to have a looong talk with him this afternoon.

    • starojustice

      I didn’t especially like it, and I’m pretty sure I’m in its target audience. What with how I’m old enough to have actually played the games they reference in there, and seen the cartoons they reference in there.

      Scott Pilgrim seems like this weird synthesis of two of my least favorite recent pop cultural artifacts, but if I had to nail down its biggest problem, I’d say it suffers worse than most movies based on books in that they have to cram everything into two hours. Once Scott starts fighting his way through Ramona’s old boyfriends, it’s like they have the fight, have a couple minutes of lame bantering, then the next fight, then more lame bantering, etc.

      All in all, the rushed feeling of the movie makes it feel like it wants to be a video game a little too much. Yes, I get that it’s based on old video games, but this is a movie. I get bored watching somebody else play a video game.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Yeah, because I don’t think it’s perfect, I can’t possibly be right.

      I was so blind…

      • Forevercl

        Your review was entertaining and was interesting. Its not that you are either right or wrong you just have a different point of view.


    • Xvbones

      Wrong age group and uptight, eh.

      So, basically, if I was an incontinent toddler, I’d find this movie superb.

      Good to know.

  • Chad the Annoying Fan

    I’m torn about this movie. It’s not a BAD film, but it plays like it’s way too happy with how clever it is and my enjoyment of the film is undermined by how it’s being deeply entrenched up its own ass. Simply put, this is a movie about hipster douchebags for hipster douchebags. Also, Scott’s a dick and Ramona’s a slut.

    See my outstretched arms? They’re for catching Knives.

    One thing I’ve always wondered. Exactly how does the Evil Ex thing work? If Scott and Ramona break up, does he become an Evil Ex too?

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Personally, I always wondered why Ramona didn’t have to fight Knives and Kim…

      • DrZaius75

        Look at the final act from Jason Schwartzman’s point of view; as far as he’s concerned, Scott IS as evil ex.

    • Steve Potter

      Actually, at the end they explain that the League of Evil Exes was created by Jason Schwartzman to prevent Ramon from ever dating anyone other than him.

      • Michael A. Novelli

        But why would he even need them if he had a chip in the back of her neck that could make her come back any time he wanted? It doesn’t add up, man!

        • CyricZ

          Short story is “Gideon’s a douche.” They make him out to be the “final boss” and a grand pillar to bring down, but in reality he’s just as superficial and vindictive as the rest of them.

          • Michael A. Novelli

            One would hope that professional filmmakers wouldn’t need people like me to explain Storytelling 101 to them…

          • Maceface

            Gideon got drunk and posted it on craigslist prior to installing the microchip.

        • Steve Potter

          That DOESN’T add up.

  • My serious answer to your serious question: on the most obvious metaphorical level, the film is about the aimlessness of ’80s kids growing up. But I think that both in the film and the original source material, there is a deeper level consciously developed by the creators that is intended to be a criticism of not only itself but the people who would take it seriously on the previous level. The books and movie are both clearly aware of the ridiculousness of swords being a metaphor for character growth, of fighting (or coming to terms with) your nega-clone as a way of owning up to your mistakes, and needing to make every single acquired skill or lesson learned “ding!” as if it were a level-up to have value. At the end of the book, after the boss battles, Scott’s working for a friend as a line cook and playing in a band for fun only and speaking with his parents; when Scott and Ramona decide to try to enter adulthood together and have a genuine, mature relationship, the story fades to white in silence — because it knows that the medium it’s using to tell what was up until now the story of Scott Pilgrim, video game addict and wastrel, is an incomplete tool for telling the genuine, richer story of Scott Pilgrim, actual grown-up person. I think you’ve made the mistake here that some people back in the day made of the original Beavis and Butthead cartoons: you’ve confused a criticism of shallowness for a celebration of it. (In the film’s defense, it criticizes shallowness the same way “Natural Born Killers” criticizes the media’s glorification of violence, so I can certainly understand the reaction.)

  • Steve Potter

    Hmmm… While I can’t say that you changed my opinion of the film, I do admit that you forced me to see it in a new light. I’m still in high school, so I saw it as more of a live action cartoon. The only thing that bugged me was the amount of smugness it had, especially towards anything mainstream.

  • Delawheredad

    Old fart here who has kids the age of Scott Pilgrim who works on a college campus. What struck me about this film was how self absorbed the main character is. Yes when you are around that age you DO think the world revolves around you but you grow up and learn from your past. Scott is, if anything, LESS likeable at the end of the movie than he was at the beginning. Despite the battles in the film, he has not really matured one iota. Not even dying affects his outlook or his personality. At the end of the film all he has is a hot chick with whom he has a very superficial relationship. I was married when I was 22. I don’t recommend that to anyone but I had more on the ball and a better sense of myself at that age than Scott ever develops. What does he even SEE in this girl? OK she’s hot but that alone sure isn’t enough to build a relationship on. I am happy to say however that my sons are decidedly NOT hipsters. They mock hipsters so clearly this movie was not made for them. They read comic books and play video games and they HATED this film. Since it only appealed to a narrow segment of the adolescent population, no wonder it tanked

    As an aside the ONLY role Michael Cera is suited for is the lead in a big screen adaptation of “Gilligan’s Island.” Like you Mr. Mendo I despise the little twerp. I do NOT hate all the movies he has been in but even in movies featuring him that I liked I wanted to slap him silly.

    • Maceface

      …It’s not a hipster film. That’s pretty much the single biggest misconception about this film.

      • Michael A. Novelli

        And On The Road was never intended to be embraced by beatniks, but sometimes things just happen that way…

    • What does he even SEE in this girl?

      I can give you a couple of reasons why:

      1) She’s in his appropriate age range (and no, she ain’t a girl, but a woman)

      2) They (will) have a better life together than Scott would with Knives, or she would have with her seven exes

      3)Scott may be flawed, but he’s not as half as flawed as the seven exes (Todd is more narcissistic and self-involved than Scott, Roxy is just extremist and rude, Lucas Lee is all of what Todd is plus more, Matthew Patel doesn’t know how to accept a breakup and is a stalker with possession issues [hey, that’s most of them!] and Gideon is a mega-controlling, mega-manipulating bastard.) Scott has a puppy-dog, kindly demeanor (is a nice guy at heart) which gets women where they are, and maybe that’s why he got the heart of Ramona (in addition to trying REALLY hard to win her in the beginning of the movie and at the end.)

      4) Scott came to realize what a jerk he’d been for a while and apologized to Ramona & Knives while fighting to save Ramona from Gideon (guess you missed that part pretty well, huh?)

      5) Scott DID NOT cheat on Knives with Ramona; all that he had was a platonic relationship with a younger person than himself (remember what that is?) which she mistook as being more than it was. If it had been what she assumed it would be, he would have jumped her just like that, but he didn’t do so (no heavy petting, no kissing, no fondling [he didn’t even corner her and take off her shoes and socks and kiss/caress/tickle her bare feet-which I would have done if I were him.) All he did was be friends with her. So no, in this case, he didn’t do anything bad to Knives to justify being called a ‘jerky-jerk’ by Julie or by anybody else-this is a complex emotional situation that can not be limited to or be just passed off as Scott being a unlikeable jerk (to be frank, nothing in the movie can, IMHO.)

      6) This movie wasn’t for hipsters, since video games are a part of our culture-the comic book’s been around for a while, and the only reason your sons have never heard of it and didn’t like it is because they are (like most people who read and know about comic books) probably only fans of the mainstream superhero books and little else-that says more about you and them than the movie itself (I play video games and read [mostly] superhero titles, too but was able to enjoy this movie as well.)

      7) Michael Cera as (Willy) Gilligan? Please, no. I’d rather see him as anything else he’s been in plus this (and ONLY this) possible adaptation of an old but obscure ’60s TV show: Mr. Terrific

      • Michael A. Novelli

        Well, my seemingly elitist friend, you’ve clearly put more thought into this film than anyone involved. A winner is you!

        But really, why? All this time you’ve spent obsessing over depth that just isn’t there, you could have done something more productive, like make a sandwich…

        • Hot roast beef sandwich, with brown gravy smothered over a hoagie roll!

          • Michael A. Novelli

            With mozzarella sticks, even!

      • starofjustice

        Plus, even if Scott and Knives didn’t do anything, in his mind they were going out.

      • Either you’re really Mike Cera, or this movie is your religion. LOL! Seriously, what up with that? (Now, start signing instead of interviewing your guests.)

  • Commanderraf

    Am I the only one that got a serious AVGN vive from Mr. Mendo at the beginning (white shirt, pens in pouch, fast paced talking and beverage drinking)?

    • Michael A. Novelli

      FINALLY! You have no idea how disappointed I am that it took this long…

      • Commanderraf

        Wow… my first comment and it turned out to be right.

        Love your videos… Mr. Mendo? Mr. Novelli? (How should i call you?) and you have my respect for serving your country in its armed forces.

        • Michael A. Novelli

          Mendo’s fine. Everyone calls me that, anyway…

          • I will call you Fowl Foul, and award you 20 experience points, to be redeemed at your local outhouse cinema of your choice.

            (Seriously, though, you look, talk, sound, and act like me . . . or I am really you, and this is a sockpuppet? Ooh, intrigue! Or am I you from a different dimension of time and space, and I have come back to the present, from the present, to also destroy bad movies for the sake of, uh, well, that joke just ran itself into the ground!)

  • I watched this review last night, disagreed violently with it, slept, and have now arrived rested and with coffee to destroy it.
    First thing though (and this is a point I’ll be returning to), it needs to be pointed out that this movie is a comedy. Besides being subjective to taste (your mileage may vary) it also means that it doesn’t have to follow any set of rules so long as it remains consistent to itself. The tension-less fights, the unlikable, smug characters, all of these things are fine because they are true to the tone the movie sets. That tone, incidentally, is set perfectly by the 8-bit Universal theme at the beginning, and I think you might have been accidentally right on this one count: like the 8 bit theme, like the movie.
    And speaking of unlikable, smug characters – what about Seinfeld (a sitcom which SP references hilariously)? Those characters were deplorable people but we loved them, because it was funny.
    (Incidentally, I must thank you for pointing out the Launchpad McQuack reference. I like this movie even more now.)
    This is as good a place as any to point out that your research was half-assed and incomplete. The movie is extremely faithful to MOST of the graphic novels; but since book 6 and the film were being made at the same time, there the stories diverge. Seriously, that took 5 seconds to look up on wikipedia. Anyway, this is to say that I must (grrrr) also agree with you on that microchip being bullshit, machina bullshit shit.
    Unfortunately, just… everything you say is wrong, dude. When complaining about the title cards you mention Comeau only being in the one scene, so why does he get a blah, blah, blah. He’s in 2 scenes, actually (3 if you count Scott’s extra life), appearing in the warehouse/nightclub/final fight. And he gets the title card because that’s the TONE. That’s internal consistency.
    The movie is intended to be a comic book set to film, hence the ‘riiiiiiing’ and the ‘elsewhere….’ and various other stylistic complaints you have.
    As for the serious question… well. There were a lot of questions in there, actually, but I wanted to point out once more that the movie is a comedy, and therefore those quiet moments of self-reflection whose absence you’re pining for would be inappropriate and clash stylistically with the tone of the film. As for whether this movie speaks to me as a person… yes. Yes it does. But that’s because I’m a shallow, self-involved, hipster wannabe with a serious case of arrested development. (That’s another Michael Cera vehicle you egregiously neglected to mention btw).
    Anyway, you’re right that this movie was never intended for you, and as such, it pleases me greatly that you received so little from it – Mission Accomplished as they say in military.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      They actually don’t say “Mission Accomplished” in the Army. At least, in five years I’ve never heard it.

      (cracks knuckles)

      You’re obviously new to my show, and are unaware of the “tone” of it. As a rule, I try to do no research of any kind. It would be out of character for Mendo to do so, and the tone of the series (which we’ve established is important) is what one’s reaction to a film would be the first time you watch it. To just rent a video, watch it with your friends, and mock the shit out of it. It is internally consistent for Mendo’s analysis of a film to be shallow, because he’s using the film itself as the entire basis of his criticism.

      Whether a film is faithful to its source material or not is irrelevant. The film must rise or fall on its own merits. No deleted scenes, no backstage drama, no extended cuts, nothing.

      Oddly enough, I also spent about five seconds on Wikipedia. Shows you how reliable they are…

      And, actually, yes, comedy does have rules. Maybe it’s just a lifetime studying the craft of drama, but a comedy not only needs definite boundaries in order to be successful (otherwise, you end up with Hudson Hawk), but, and this is important, a comedy is not supposed to try to be smarter than its audience. The reason unlikable characters are able to succeed in something with a lighthearted tone is that, despite everything, we, the audience, still feel we are superior to them. And while, yes, I do still feel superior to Scott, the work, as a whole, seems to be standing back from itself and saying, “Yes, this is what you like, isn’t it?” Not a good way to endear itself to a general audience.

      As to Seinfeld, I didn’t like it. As to Arrested Development, I have a strict policy of ignoring it. Moving on…

      A comic book in film form is largely paradoxical, as what works as a comic most often can not work as a film, structurally. This is why Alan Moore is so vehement in trying to keep his stories from being adapted. This is especially true in the case of Scott Pilgrim, since it only barely worked as sequential art to begin with. I don’t care for the artist’s style, I feel that (what I read of) the story was poorly paced, and the page layouts gave me a headache. Why would you want to put that on film?

      You say you’re proud of the fact that I didn’t get anything out of it. You do realize that what you’re taking so much pride in enjoying is symptomatic of everything wrong with modern nerd culture, don’t you? Don’t you want more out of your entertainment than a half-assed mishmash of in-jokes and tired references from things that’re so obscure that you feel smarter for getting them, even though doing so is no real accomplishment? I got most of the video game references, too. That doesn’t make me smarter, that just means that when I was 8 years old I had a lot of free time.

      Do you actually take pride in having your ideology represented by something that is creatively, emotionally, and developmentally stagnated? Is this really something that you aspire to? I find that sad.

      You can think anything you like about my intelligence and taste in films, but take that judgmental eye and look in the mirror sometime. Tell us if you like what you see…

      • Steve Potter

        Wow. The maturity in your response was fantastic. (Not being sarcastic, being 100% serious here). I aspire to one day being a semi-famous internet critic, so it’s nice to see there’s a semblance of professionalism. Bravo, sir.

      • ‘A Comedy is not supposed to try to be smarter than it’s audience’ sounds like one of those rules -like, ‘write what you know’- that can be ignored or transcended by those who know what they’re about. Take Woody Allen or a Cohen brothers comedy; these are smart, alienating works that a lot of the popcorn eating masses might dismiss, but which some appreciate precisely because of the extra effort it asks of you. In these more (I hesitate to use the word) intellectual comedies, you get what you put in.
        As for boundaries, I’m still not sure I agree with you (and have not, nor will I ever watch Hudson Hawk). Aliens could not land in the middle of Annie Hall because that’s jarring with the tone, but Woody Allen can break the fourth wall and bring out Marshall McLuhan and it’s hilarious. It’s all in how it’s done and so much of it boils down to taste that we may have to agree to disagree and move on.
        Not to nitpick, but I never said I was proud that you didn’t get anything out of it, I said I was pleased. Greatly. That’s not because I wish to deny you a good time at the movies, or to somehow elevate myself at your expense, but because -by the sounds of it- we just have radically different taste. Therefore you enjoying this movie more would have meant me enjoying it less. (I do not know why anyone would have a policy of ignoring Arrested Development; that just does not compute. The same with not liking Seinfeld. These are comic staples, man!)
        Scott Pilgrim does not represent an ideology; it’s just a comedy and I enjoyed it more as a comic than a movie (the pacing and page layouts you complain of seemed organic to me, to the point where I did not even notice), but thought the movie did an impressive job. Casting and music were pretty well perfect for example. As someone who knew the book backwards going in, I’ll never be able to tell if it holds up on it’s own – I just wish I could take your word for it.
        I don’t mean to sound judgmental; if anything I’m mirroring the tone you set in your review. I would venture to say that if you can’t dish it in, then perhaps you shouldn’t dish it out? That being said, I did appreciate your reply, and look forward to your further thoughts.

        • Michael A. Novelli

          Oh, no worries, I haven’t truly been offended by anything said to me online in years. I just love to argue. I’m Italian ;)…

          It’s actually quite easy to ignore Arrested Development and dislike Seinfeld, just as it’s easy to be 24 and have never seen the original Star Trek, or dislike most Steven Spielberg movies, or think that, say, Be Kind, Rewind would have been greatly improved by showing a blank screen for an hour and forty minutes. I grew up outside of America, and thus many of the “truths” of American popular culture were not indoctrinated into me since birth. Left to my own devices, I’ve come to many different conclusions than those who’re easily offended would wish I did. I’ve never found “nerd humor” to be inherently clever just by existing, so the majority of the movies people on the internet would step over their mothers to defend do absolutely nothing for me.

          If that bothers people, then so be it. I’m having too much fun to care…

          Making videos, that is…

        • Michael A. Novelli

          Oh, almost forgot…

          I know that there’s this big thing among younger film-makers where they think they should throw off old conventions just because they can (I’m not against this idea on principle, because, even though by this point it’s impossible to come up with a truly original idea, a change of pace is always nice), this is not something I feel you should do with comedy, at least in a dramatic sense.

          Don’t get it twisted now: comedians should always look for new ways to shock and stimulate their audiences, as is their responsibility to society, but for comedic stories, well…

          The whole “the audience should always believe they are smarter/better than you” thing? This is not a new rule. It’s several thousand years old. It has lasted because it works. I for one think a triangle with look better with eight sides instead of three, but that doesn’t mean the octogon is suddenly the strongest shape in nature…

      • Gabriel Kleinert

        Sorry to interject, but I think it’s interesting that you say you like to not do research, yet in this reply you add weight to your argument by saying the source material isn’t very good. It’s one thing to give something a bad review because it has flaws, and another to give it a bad review because you just don’t like its style. How much of your review is taste, and how much is actual flaws in the material?

        • Michael A. Novelli

          I don’t do research for the show, but I do occassionally do it for my own benefit…

          • GeoffZoref

            I liked Scott Pilgrim a lot, but I think I was the intended audience for it. I like your show a lot. I especially like what you did with Forest Gump, which is a well loved movie that deserved to be taken down a peg. So as a fan of yours, I say with the greatest respect, that I have to questions the judgement of somebody who doesn’t like Seinfeld and purposely avoided Arrested Development.

          • Michael A. Novelli

            I can probably counter both by saying I was always more of a Bill Hicks fan, comedically…

          • Gzoref

            Oh, I like Bill Hicks too. He would have certainly fit in today as a critic of consumerism and the upper class elite.

            Many of your points about Scott Pilgrim are well taken. It is a sort of a quirk fest that is far too pleased with itself. in that way it sort of reminds me of The Big Lebowski. But like Lebowski,I think it really earns that right.

          • Michael A. Novelli

            One could draw the distinction that Jeff Bridges is not someone who makes you want to punch them in the face just by breathing.

            At least, I don’t want to…

      • The Alan Moore doctrine is truth. I also agree with the Nov on his reply.

        However, the quote, “Do you actually take pride in having your ideology represented by something that is creatively, emotionally, and developmentally stagnated? Is this really something that you aspire to? I find that sad,” is so accurate about “they who play too much Final Fantasy”, as an example.

        Lighten up, folks, it’s entertainment, not religion! That’s, what I feel, Mendo is hack attacking here.

    • Gussie Jives

      For the record, I am likely as close to Scott Pilgrim as one can get: I’m in my mid-20s, I’ve lived my entire life in Toronto, and I’m a huge gamer nerd.

      And I couldn’t get past the first book of the original graphic novels before my seething hate for Pilgrim caught up to me. The Toronto references were cute after a while, but Scott Pilgrim is a man-child that made me look like the most interesting man in the world from the Dos Equis ads. The style of the art was horrific and none of the characters were remotely interesting. In fact, the way Pilgrim treated Knives in the first book made me want to leap into the comic and drive my fist through his head.

      Sorry, Nov was bang-on with his analysis of Scott Pilgrim.

  • guest

    I enjoyed this movie. I thought it was a nice piece of escapism. I must admit, though, all the points you make about the movie are legitimate ones (although I’m writing from the UK where the age of consent is 16, so the Knifes being 17 thing doesn’t bother me too much).

    But anyway, I don’t want to talk to much about that. What I really wanted to talk about was the issue of the ending. I’ve seen the ending where he gets with Knifes, and it’s dreadful. It’s your normal rom-com style happy ending with Knifes and Scott going back to the arcade together, which is just too nice in this context. It’s basically this generation’s equivalent of the ‘Love Conquers All’ ending for Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

    In fact, the only thing I miss from the original ending is a single frame where Ramona looks back at Scott and Knifes with sadness in her eyes. It’s the only time she looks like a fully sympathetic character, which is probably why the test audience voted the way they did.

    If you think about it, Scott shouldn’t have ended up with anyone at the end. Not just because they were open for criticism whomever he chose, but because it’s the only way all three characters could go through a full character arc. Knives grows up and realises she doesn’t need Scott in her life because she’s too good for him anyway. Ramona would be without her emotional baggage of her exs and going off to find her own way in the world. And Scott, having earned all his self respect and making peace with himself, would realise he doesn’t need to fixate on girls and could just get through life by himself. That would be a mature response for me.

  • Eno

    It doesn’t surprise me that the movie divides people so much. It was made with a very specific audience in mind, something that doesn’t happen that often these days and, frankly, probably should. You try to please everyone in the audience and you end up with unmemorable, featureless muck that’s too afraid to do anything strange or unexpected because it might upset someone.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that everyone loves Scott and the only people that hate him are the evil exes though. Did you (and all the other people who claim the movie celebrates his behaviour) miss the parts where all his friends always put him down and act flabbergasted at how awful he treats Knives? How Julie Powers makes it obvious at the start that he has a reputation as a “lady killer” who ruins all the girls he has relationships with? And how at the third act of the film his actions have left him completely alone and depressed (Ramona with Gideon because he didn’t act fast enough, Knives probably irreconcilable, band off on their own because he’s easily replaceable with Neil, Wallace wanting him to move out). Almost the entire movie consists of Scott being punished for his behaviour. While I can totally understand why the rest of the movie isn’t to everyone’s taste, I don’t get how they miss the movie itself telegraphing “SCOTT IS A MASSIVE JERK WHO NEEDS TO GET HIS SHIT TOGETHER”.

    Either way, the movie isn’t Edgar Wright’s best. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are still much better since they don’t have the baggage of trying to adapt 6 volumes of a comic into one movie. Considering how badly Scott Pilgrim did at the box office, I doubt he’ll be getting offered too many big budget American movies anytime soon, so he’ll maybe go back to doing more smaller scale British stuff (well, smaller scale compared to most American movies; Hot Fuzz’ budget was literally a tenth of Scott Pilgrim’s).

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Funny, I seem to recall saying, “…especially since this movie seems to hate him as much as I do.”

      However, while the film might have had a condemning view of Scott, it didn’t do it very well. Everything realistic about people’s reactions to him were overwhelmed by the smugness of the film itself…

    • I would almost say this movie to be a “Midnight Movie” type of “cult” following. Then again, most “cult” followings are just five dorky guys in a room, in Los Angeles, talking about a film they all like, and the rest of world doesn’t give to shakes of a lamb’s ass about.

      My apologizes to Pink Flamingoes, Rocky Horror, Shock Treatment, Freaks, etc. Those are good movies in comparison to Scott Dipshit.

  • Elfshotthefood

    This movie never appealed to me, probably because it was pitched at a demographic that’s much younger than the one I’m currently in. Still, I enjoyed your video.

    One thing, though. The legal age of consent in Canada is 16, so there’s nothing wrong (legally, at least ;) ) about Scott dating a 17-year-old.

  • Mace Face

    It’s told from Scotts Perspective. As in, we’re seeing everything how he sees things.

    As it is, he appears to suffer from a Narcissist Personality Disorder, specifically Compensentory Narcissism, as described by Milton. Basically, He has a dangerously low self esteem, and his narscissim is brought about as a coping mechanism. He’s fantasizing about having power over others by being a great fighter. The reason we never see what Ramona sees in him? Scott himself doesn’t even know.

    It’s all in Scott’s mind, and it is actually a pretty decent portrayal.

    • ImBatmanMotherFucker

      uhh… no the director just wanted to make great visuals that represented today’s generation of nerdy slackers which is scott’s character, if you dont believe me just watch the in the making of stuff. and to be completely honest… this guys nothing but a nostalgia critic rip-off.

      • Michael A. Novelli

        Hey! I’m a Gladstone rip-off, thank you…

        • No, you’re just being an annoying troll, and this review is troll bait. Stay sheep that enjoys crap like The Expendables and Piranha 3D.

          • The Id

            ^ Mmm. Delicious manchild tears.

          • Michael A. Novelli

            Is it really that unusual to see people disagree with you that you automatically assume I’m fucking with you?

          • Scarh791

            Well, in all fairness, you ARE fucking with people. This review is the product of a fuddy-duddy who doesn’t even want to begin to understand all these crazy colors and sounds and feeeeeh! You really have to picture the old Jewish grandfather giving a dismissive hand swipe at the end there.

            Obviously I don’t know you at all as a person, but you’re so much more smug and annoying than you claim Scott to be. Your anger towards this movie’s existence is so squandered and the product of “5 nerds who sit in a room and grouse about stuff” as I saw something very similar further down the page. All your nitpicking never really exposes the “truth” that the fans are wrong and you’re right, but you’ll be damned if shallow, snarky ego can’t smooth that over.

            I’m not going to say “you don’t get it”, because that’s a cop out from someone that can’t articulate a real argument. I will say however, that you seem to be a bit of a cynic, and exactly the kind of insufferable knowitall hipster that Scott would hang out with.

            Also, you most certainly ARE ripping off the C+ this got from The A.V. Club deliberately to elicit nerd rage. So THHHBBBBPT!

          • Michael A. Novelli

            What the hell is “The A.V. Club”? And what is this C+ of which you speak? I don’t remember giving this film a letter grade?

            Funny, I don’t think in the years I’ve been contributing to this site that I’ve ever hid my cynicism. It’s kind of always been my defining character trait (not that I’m anywhere near as cynical as other recappers we’ve had in the past, but one tries one’s best).

            However, I must take exception to you calling me a hipster. I am a beatnik, there is a difference…

          • Scarh791

            You say things like “Mmm. Delicious manchild tears”, and somehow HE’S the manchild?.. I imagine most people in this particular comment section needing a folding chair for each ass cheek and releasing a cloud of Cheeto dust whenever they stir.

            Sorry for the “Cheeto dust covered losers” cliche, but I actually felt it was the most apt here.

          • LOL! To quote Bucky Katt: “Take a chilly pill.”

            LOL! Ho-ho! What crawled up your ass and laid an egg?

  • Michael A. Novelli

    God-dammit! Turns out I’ve been following Mary Elizabeth Winstead on Twitter, on account of I had no idea who she was. Shows what I get for not bothering to remember her name after the review was over. Fuck, that’s embarassing…

  • Thanks for the recap. I think I’ll avoid this movie worse than I avoid, uh, certain “news” channels!

    I’m off to re-watch (thanks Cinemax) the Pink Panther version of Casino Royale. At least I can make heads and tails out of that movie! (That’s saying something!)

  • Michael A. Novelli

    Reading some of the fan reactions on other sites gives me a warm fuzzy feeling…of relief that I’m not one of these people…

  • Waffleavenger

    I may be a bit late to the party here, but I just discovered the website. (loving it so far!) Have to say, I love when the video cut from Launchpad to Edgar Wright– I never noticed until now how similar they look…!

    • Michael A. Novelli

      We aim to please…

  • Joelkazoo

    Thank you SO much for tearing this film a new arsehole it so badly needed!

  • photography_raptor

    I’m sorry, but I can’t take a movie critic seriously when he clearly does not understand the concept of “too much headroom.”

    • Michael A. Novelli

      No pleasing some people…

  • N_dorotea

    despite my “meh” reaction to this movie (I’m not the target audience been 37 and not interested in videogames) I have a mayor problem with it: Michael Cera. He has the same fucking idiotic expression in all his fucking movies. what’s up with that? is it the new fashion in hollywood? blank expressions, inexpressive “actors”? He and that bitch from twilight should do a serial killers/mass murderers movie, they would be even more scary than Michael Meyers.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      No, because that would just be Jennifer’s Body all over again, and that is something no one wants…

  • Viewer

    “quality by popular consensus is not a valid argument…”
    As many people as possible should think like this. It’s not just what the movie tries to say, it’s more importantly how it states it. Even a movie with a good message can fail to bring it across intelligently, the exact case with Scott Pilgrim. Keep it simple and clear. Why? Because at least then more people can understand you. In a modern cinema style the visual aesthetics tend to overshadow the language. The result is mostly convenient crap, intentional or not. What good entertainment needs is a more reliable message in balance with the fun. The challenge, to get it right.

  • guest

    Since before I sat down to watch this film I knew it would be terrible. I really, really wanted it to be good because the comic was awesome and I respect Edgar Wright as a director. However, to no one’s surprise it sucked. What astounded me is that it sucked in a totally new and honest way. It had a great soundtrack, it took risks and decided to use actors who actually nearly looked their age (apart from Stacey who is supposed to look older than everybody anyway). On the other hand, it starred Michael Cera who to everybody’s surprise can’t act, all the other actors sucked and the script was rewritten to appeal to 10 year olds.

    I think it isn’t very fair to say the film is a good adaptation of the book because O’Malley himself wrote the script and changed every detail only leaving about 5 lines of text the same.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      I found the series and film to be equally crappy in all the same ways. That sounds like a good adaptation to me!

  • Gussie Jives

    Take it from me, Mr. Mendo, a 26-year-old Torontonian, Scott Pilgrim is the worst representation of my generation and my city combined. The comics were self-absorbed crap that thought itself too clever, and the protagonist has little to no redeeming qualities himself, as if being a well-formed turd compared to the steaming diarrhea that the “evil exes” were is somehow all that is required. The characters were dull, the story one of the worst implementations of the Campbellian heroic cycle, and even the casual references to Toronto locations seemed just crowbarred in as if the story should have taken place in Chicago with Toronto being used in its place.

    You nailed this one out of the park.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      Every now and then I get the urge to rewatch the film to see if it’s really as bad as I remember it. Then I get replies like this that remind me that it is, and I thank them for saving me the trouble.

      So, thanks!

  • Steve Kidd

    To Mr. Mendo: YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT. That is all.

    • Kenno

      Pitiful, Kidd, pitiful. As is Scott Pilgrim.

      • Michael A. Novelli


        I feel unclean, now…

  • Gunflyer

    Thank you for tearing apart this overrated piece of shit.

    • Michael A. Novelli

      No need to thank me, just doing my job…

  • groupthinker1984


  • Wisdom Waterfalls

    Well. I still like the movie. At the part where you say the audience is suppose to just sit back and not question anything, I don’t know why but I kinda like that aspect. It gives room for me and my friends to talk about it. I like the effects, the game reference and hell, I didn’t even catch the movie references. Though it’s probably due that I’m seventeen and not in my early twenties so I don’t find this offensive. Well, not THAT offensive since after watching your video, I realized there are some major flaws in the movie. (Yes, I said some, don’t be nick picky about it)

  • chromesthesia

    I think you took this movie just a bit too seriously… Just a bit

    • MichaelANovelli

      Not as much as its fans do…

  • Kenneth Peter Shinn

    “He punched a hole in the Moon…” Wow. Gary-Stu much?

  • William DeMarco

    The age of consent in Canada is 16. Therefore, not statuary rape.