Scott Pilgram vs. The Movie
Written By: Liam Walters
So I fell in love with Scott Pilgram vs. The World movie whilst watching it with a friend. It instantly took third place in my top favourite films, quite ironically, sitting next to another Micheal Cera film in which he plays a bassist (10 points if you can name the film).
But having watched the film, and eventually buying it on DVD, sparked my interest in the original graphic novel series in which it was based upon. Films that are based upon another source, be it books, comics or whatever, aren’t normally that good. The directing tends to be a bit off and it just doesn’t captivate you like the original source material did. Fortunatly, the movie for Scott Pilgram was Edgar Wright, an amazing directed whose other work include Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and the soon to be released, Paul (the three of which have come to be known as The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy).
So what of the Scott Pilgram comics? Well, I have to say, I completely loved them, they were superbly written and illustrated by Bryan Lee O’Malley. I do like them more than the movie, though I will admit it is more because of story aspects which would be hard to fit into a movie, with it having such a small time limit to tell the story in. Still, the movie adaptation, although having a couple flaws, was actually well adapted. Most movie adaptations are loosely based on their original counterpart; Scott Pilgram takes a step closer to home by directly quoting from the book, allowing the people who read the comics something to smile at, whilst not alienating the rest of the audience who hasn’t read the comics.
Theres are 6 volumes of the series all together, which all together span just about over a year. The comics, of course being longer, are able to tell a fuller story, going back in to Scott’s past and allowing characters to be developed more, whilst allowing other characters to actually be developed, and some more characters to even exist. With it being set over a longer time, we are able to read more into the development of the relationships between the characters. Scott and Ramona in the movie adaptation seem to be more distant than to one another, as obviously their relationship can’t move unnaturally fast, but at the same time, doesn’t show the closeness that the couple share in the counterpart.
Another pitfall of the movie adaptation is some characters don’t really get as developed as they could, whilst some others, 2 in particular, don’t seem to have any, actual development at all. The Katanayagi Twins, in the film, just seem to show up, play music, and then explode into coins. There is the ‘briefing’ about them before hand by Stephen Stills, but even that doesn’t really explain much. I mean… I don’t think they actually get any dialog, what so ever. Scott might as well have had a fight with an oven mitten with a face drawn on and a dancing cactus wearing sunglasses with all the difference it would have made.
But I can’t bash the movie too much. As I said, it is still one of my favourite, captivating my geek senses from the start with the 8 bit rendition of the Universal logo. As I’ve stated as well, it was just too much of a feat, trying to get 6 comics, the last of which wasn’t even out at the time of production, into 1 average length movie, may have just been too much to ask for. The different endings between the graphic novel and the movie both work well for their intended medium, and the movie was one of the best adapted films I’ve seen to date. In the end, it’s as simple as this… If you have seen the movie, go read the graphic novels… If you’ve read the graphic novels, then go watch the film… And enjoy.