My two cents on Scott Pilgrim

I know, the last thing anyone needs now is more internet commentary on Scott Pilgrim.  But I’ve been reading all sorts of posts from people who are miserable, bitter or hopping mad about the movie’s failure at the box office.  I’ve read about how the failure of Scott Pilgrim will cause Hollywood to bypass Comic-con, that it spells the death-knell for comics adaptations, that Hollywood will never take a chance again on interesting material, that it marks a turning point for the ongoing collapse of Hollywood filmmaking, that it will ruin careers and lead to an endless series of sequels and derivative crap on our multiplex screens.

Here’s my take: the movie is great.  It’s fresh, unique, surprising, heartfelt and unexpectedly complex.  Everybody connected to the project did a terrific job, including the studio, who stood behind a challenging piece of material and gave the filmmakers a long leash to create a heretofore unseen vision of life.

It disappointed at the box office, yes.  And we could talk about why that happened.  My own theory is that it’s a movie too difficult to sum up in an image or a trailer.  It’s a comedy, a romance and an action movie all at the same time.  Perhaps American audiences are stupid, but whenever the viewer’s response to a trailer or a poster is “What is it?” the movie is in trouble commercially.

A few days ago, I was watching Fight Club, another hard-to-define movie that captured a point in time, and was reminded that it, too, failed at the box office when it came out.  And the same bitter accusations and blames were thrown about: never again will a studio take a chance on fresh material, American film will collapse, careers will end, etc.

And yet, eleven years later, Brad Pitt and Ed Norton are still movie stars with great taste in scripts, Fox is still in business, and David Fincher is still one of our most interesting and sought-after directors, and pretty much everyone recognizes Fight Club as a generation-defining classic.

I predict the same thing will happen here: Universal will survive, Edgar Wright and Michael Cera will have successful and lucrative careers, Bryan Lee O’Malley will become more popular than ever, and, every now and then, studios will take a chance on movies that step outside the rules of the marketplace.


3 Responses to “My two cents on Scott Pilgrim
  1. Billy says:

    Yes, I think you’re right. There’s a long list of films which found a healthy afterlife on VHS, DVD,BR or cochleal implant, despite failing at the box office. I’m sure that Scott Pilgrim will be one of those creatures.

    I had hoped it would do better in the UK, and although it had respectable box office it still came in behind Adam Sandler’s ‘Grown Ups’. I think I know which film will be discussed and argued over in twenty or thirty years time.

  2. Scott says:

    Hi Todd — it’s Scott from Devastator. I’m trying to send you and Holly a party invite but I don’t have your email. Canyahelpabruddaout? No, I didn’t see Scott Pilgrim.

  3. C. says:

    The Venture Bros. is back. Will there be write-ups?