Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Epic in an epically-fun way, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World features a foot-tapping peerless mix of original tunes and classic alternative tracks, an energy, wisdom and fun that made me long for the days of youth and thankful I'm where I'm at now, and an arresting and never boring visual style and pace.  In other words, it's worth your ten bucks.

Per the credits which I stayed after to watch, the actors themselves played the original songs written by Beck, and they are the most resonant part of a film about resonance.  If there were ever songs that made you want to be a bass player, these would be the ones.  From the opening track of "We Are Sex Bob-Omb" through the final set piece, I was just blown away by the compositions.  I ordered the soundtrack when I got home, which is fortunately very originals-heavy.  An obvious choice in retrospect, Frank Black's "I Heard Ramona Sing" would have not been so much a sad omission as a crime if it hadn't been used for Ramona Flowers' introduction.  I mean, if not in a film centrally about a boy's obsessive love for a girl named Ramona,  when?

Speaking of the multi-color-choiced Ramona (Her line "I change my hair color every week.  Get used to it," is at once dismissive and inviting.  It's not so much an instruction to deal with the changes as a command to ignore the little shit.), Mary Elizabeith Winstead pull soff the apathetic, but engaging allure of Ramona well.  I have the self-respect enough to know that I am not in love with her, but i could watch her change her hair color all day.  It helps that I am a sucker for green, blue, purple hair on a girl.

And while I'm definitely not a sucker for dudes with faux-blonde highlights, Brandon Routh's turn as Todd, the powerful Vegan ex, is perfectly understated and hilarious.  Vegans, you see, gain their powers from an inflated sense of self-importance and moral superiority (kind of like a lot of religious folks), and his fight with Scott proves that power is tough to beat.  Unfortunately for us in the real-world, the Vegan- (or god-) police aren't around when you need them.

The entire film, in case you haven't seen the trailer, is presented in video-game format.  Each ex of Ramona's that Scott must defeat to date her (the league of bitter exes was formed by one of her former flames) are part of the seven levels.  Each has a different power, each stronger as the levels increase, and each worth more.  The visuals are amazing, the comic-balloons more appropriate and informational than annoying, and the cartoonish violence blends well into a mainstream film that actually has a lot to say about youthful relationships.  The poignant part for Scott, represented by a bigger, more powerful sword in his fight, is when the strength of self-respect is shown to be more powerful than love (really, puppy love).  Before that, he has to find out for himself that he too had treated relationships as poorly as Ramona has, that your baggage will indeed attack you later, and you need to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with others.  And breaking up is very very hard to do.  This film scores a lot for treating its youthful characters as the flawed ones we remember from our days in that mix -- everything is more dramatic, harder, simpler, and hormonal.  Or at least it seemed that way.

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