Thursday, July 22, 2010

Official soft nonsense Review of "Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour"

Well, after too much money spent at the comic book store and yet another embarrassing moment therein ("Oh, it doesn't get delivered until 1.") and a pair of read-throughs, I'm finally ready to put forth a true, well-thought out, worthy review of the biggest literary release of my lifetime:

No spoilers ahead, but if you're going to read it shortly then wait until you have to listen to what I have to say.

If you are one of my newer, you really don't have an excuse. I've been geeking out about the release of this book and the movie next month since the second post on this blog way back in January. "Scott Pilgrim Nonsense" is number five on my most-popular blog tags. And just ask any of my friends if I ever talked/talk about it in real life.

(The answer would be a lot. Just by the way.)

And today, my prayers were finally answered. I couldn't even wait for my roommate (who owns the rest) to buy it, I just had to own it for myself and read it immediately.

I think it's only fair to say that my expectations were sky high for this one. Not only did I have a lot invested emotionally (I've read the other five books four times through), but I view Scott Pilgrim as a truly quality book series: past the jokes on slacker, indie music, and video game culture lie a story about finding oneself, struggling through relationships, friendships, and one hell of a love story. Brian Lee O'Malley perfectly captures the feelings and experiences of my generation: one that's often confused with what is right and wrong and doesn't know what life should be about.

And there were so many loose ends to tie up, so much drama still to unfold ahead, I absolutely couldn't wait to see what O'Malley had in store for us, his loyal fan base.

So, to the good part.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was not fully rewarded.

On the Scott Pilgrim movie poster, the tagline is:

"An epic tale of epic epicness."

Which is all fine and dandy for an Edgar Wright movie. However, I think O'Malley felt a little pressured to live up to that expectation, which didn't translate so well when smushing it all into a short comic book. It tried to finish the series with a grand flourish that tied it all together with a huge fight that explained Scott's background and why Ramona left and why people's heads glow and what the hell this douchey seventh evil ex (friggin' Gideon Graves) wants out of his League of Ramona's Evil Ex-Boyfriends.

But all that really happened was a story that was 50 pages too short. Don't get me wrong, it was a great read, and even better the second time around. But good lord, it could, and should, have been so much more. It all felt rushed. It had a great plotline and structure, but a lot of confusing things that needed explaining only got a panel or two. Key character development was simply glossed over (including a super incredible postlude twist), and the ending was too sudden to be as enveloping as it should have been.

So, to wrap it up, if you're a fan already, its worth the read, if for no other reason than the closure and a couple of real laugh out loud moments. If you're still interested, the five previous books will be some of the best things you've ever read (especially if you're in your 20's) and shouldn't be dissuaded by the not-on-par ending.

As for me? I'll swallow my slight disappointment, let you all know that I don't regret a thing, reread it another 6-7 times to see if it gets any better, and await the movie to come out.

(....AUGUST 20th!!!!)


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