Listen now | Today’s movie is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World directed by Edgar Wright. This movie is probably one of the most polished turds we’ve ever seen. Edgar Wright’s creative visual style and clever editing can’t save this mess of a screenplay. The result is a movie that is so hollow that it feels like a chore to watch.
I heard somewhere that in the original cut of the film, Scott ended up with Knives.
They changed it because the screen test audience didn't like that.
Your impressions that the Scott/knives relationship being more reliable seem to support that.
Another note on the adaptation: Like Game of Thrones, this movie was made before the source material was actually finished.
Most of the comic was out, but not the final volume, so all of the stuff at the end with Gideon, Nega Scott, the power of self respect, etc was based on rough notes and outlines rather than a final draft. I think this helps explain why the last half hour feels so messy and unsatisfying even compared to the rest of the film.
I read the comic in early high school, when I was the exact target demographic, and I loved it. I definitely remember it as having more depth than the movie, and in particular I remember it doing much more to build up Scott into a compelling character, but that could be nostalgia talking. I’m curious to go back and see if it lives up to my memory of it.
I think the best way to think of the comic is Kill Bill for mid-2000s nerds: a stylish mash-up and remix of everything the creator thinks is cool, with the story almost an excuse for all the slick vignettes. But where Tarantino thinks Bruce Lee and David Carradine are cool, Scott Pilgrim thinks video games and indie rock are cool.
Then the movie is a hyper abridged highlight reel of the comic. And the result is kind of like watching a fan edit of Kill Bill that pares it down to an hour.
I enjoyed hearing you rant about it, and I don’t disagree with anything you said. But I can’t bring myself to dislike this movie. The vibe and style really works for me even if the screenplay doesn’t come together. It’s a sloppy, low-substance dessert, but I enjoy the sugar rush.
Poor Michael Cera, haha...
I haven't seen this movie in a while and Edgar Wright's style was probably enough back then to make the movie enjoyable for me.
I do remember being a bit confused about some of the major issues you layed out quite nicely in this episode.
"Why does the Scott & Ramona romance happen at all? How does the fantastical stuff really tie in with the rest of the movie?"
I used to have the tendency to dismiss or ignore those kinds of gut feelings about movies in general, but I think the molly movie club has helped illuminate the importance of good writing in movies to me.
Also I will definitely check out William Goldman. Thanks!