This is a movie I wish I'd seen earlier. It's one of those things that you wanted to see, but no one else you know saw it and you missed it in the theaters. And then I remember getting the DVD in the mail from Netflix and never watched it and sent it back after two months. And then once it was streamable, it sat in my streaming queue forever and so on until one day I was bored...
There is a set of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley out there that the film was based on, and to be honest, I've never read them, but now I may just have to do that. I don't know what it is about this flick, but I can watch it over and over--I even bought the soundtrack.
Okay, enough gushing without even providing reasons--and there are many. Based on the poster I wouldn't have given the movie a shot. So:
The poster looked kind of dumb to me and in no way can convey how cool the movie is. A kid with a red sword, a girl with goggles on her head and a bunch of demented freaks overhead. Based on the poster I would have thought this was a movie for kids, something like Spykids and that sort of rot. But this isn't that sort of movie.
Music has as much, if not more to do with the film than the video game angle to be honest. Scott Pilgrim is in a band. His ex-girlfriend is in a band that became popular and she broke Scott's heart. Scott sees a girl he becomes obsessed with and learns he has to defeat all of her evil exes before they can truly be together.
Scott's band, Sex Bob-omb plays a series of battle of the bands shows in order to get a contract. Along the way he fights all of these evil exes. The fights are video game style and over the top ridiculous, but a lot of fun to watch. Watching Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim) go toe-to-toe with Chris Evans (the guy who plays Captain America) and then Brandon Routh (who played Superman in Superman Returns back in 2006) is amusing.
Scott is a bass player and plays a sweet Sunburst Rickenbacker bass (I own a tuxedo Rickenbacker bass from the 70s), so in the first 5 minutes of the movie I was already liking what I was seeing. And then the music hit: I love the music in this movie. There is a good mix of tunes and some that were written for the bands in the movie to play. The music has a mostly retro, overdriven feel to it. I believe Beck had a hand in writing some of the original music used in the movie. Other songs in the movie are from groups such as: Metric, The Bluetones, Black Lips, and T. Rex.
The special effects throughout the movie are fun--there are often overlays like when someone is introduced it typically shows their name, age, and what they do next to them. When a phone or bell rings it shows a ringing sound like: r-r-r-r-r-r-r-ring. When music is played sonic waves shoot forth and during fights there are some thuds and whacks reminiscent of the old 60s Batman television program. None of the effects detract or become distracting--they add to the film's charm.
So, if you're into music, video games, action, and comedy, give this movie a chance.