Saturday, 17 December 2011

Review: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour

Title: Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour (Scott Pilgrim #6)
Author: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: July 20th, 2010
Genre: YA, Graphic Novel

It’s been four months since Ramona left Scott, and all he’s done since then is play video games and sleep all day. As Scott tries to move on and get over Ramona, he learns that Gideon, the man behind the league of evil exes, is in Toronto. Even though Scott and Ramona aren’t technically together anymore, Scott might still have to fight Gideon. Who exactly is Gideon and why did he create the league? And what happened to Ramona? As Scott makes amends with his other ex-girlfriends, it seems that there are things he’s just forgotten. How could that be? Ever since Scott first started Ramona, everything has been building up to the moment Scott fights Gideon. Gideon is the mastermind behind all the evil exes, and defeating him will be the biggest test Scott has yet to face. Will he rise up to the challenge, or could this be game over for Scott Pilgrim?

When I was in grade twelve the word ‘epic’ was very popular. I mean, nearly everyone who signed my yearbook wrote something like ‘These last four years were epic’ or ‘Next year’s going to be epic,’ or ‘Remember that project you did on Oedipus? That was epic.’ Since then, I’ve kind of been hesitant to use the word. It’s used too often, even in times when it’s not applicable. For example, high school was not epic. Now was my project on Oedipus. But Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour is worthy of the word. As the book begins, Scott is doing nothing with his life and moping over Ramona. As he tries to move on by looking for a casual hook-up, he decides that he has to fight for Ramona to earn her back. Thus begins the best fight in the series. The whole fight takes place in Toronto’s new Chaos Theatre (care of Gideon,) although there are different stages to the fight. A lot of answers are revealed about mysteries in the series. As a side note, my copy from the library was stabbed with pencils and had about a dozen pages torn out. I feel like I missed some important things, which was a bummer. I’m pretty sure this was not the volume to miss parts of, but I managed to piece things together with some help from Wikipedia.

The best thing about the book (aside from the final battle) was seeing how some of the characters have grown so much over the past six books. Mainly Knives, who is now 18 and shows more wisdom than Scott. Kim Pine, who has been my favourite from the beginning, is brilliant in this book. She sums up one of the themes of the novel: you can’t simply forget about your mistakes and the things that have hurt you, because how will you ever grow? Ramona has also grown a lot and apologizes for ditching Scott. I would have liked Scott to apologize to Knives, since she was the person he hurt the most. Just dating her in the first place was wrong; it was kind of like he was using her just to have something simple and easy. And of course she was the one who ended up getting hurt. I hope she goes to UBC and forgets all about him. In the past five reviews, I don’t think I’ve touched much on Scott. He’s the hero, but he’s also lazy and self absorbed. He hurt Knives and Kim and he takes advantage of Wallace. While he was very flawed, I still thought he was an overall loveable guy who just needs to grow up. I think that having a guy like Scott as the main character worked well for this series. His cluelessness provided a lot of comic relief and I can’t really imagine Scott being any other way.

Now that I’ve finished the series, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the movie, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. This movie was my first introduction to the series, and after I finished volume six I re-watched the movie. Is it possible that it’s even better now that I’ve read all the books? The casting was spot on, especially for Kim, Knives, Envy and Julie. I’ve mentioned this before, but I prefer Ramona in the books. This isn’t due to the actress; it’s just that I never got the impression in the film that Ramona really liked Scott. She was too aloof. The movie didn’t quite capture how truly evil Gideon is. Scott Pilgrim Vs the World is an adaptation of all six of the Scott Pilgrim books. While it follows volume one very closely, the other volumes are obviously condensed. The series takes place over a year, while the movie occurs in a few weeks. Things are simplified, but probably for the better. What works in a book doesn’t necessarily work in a movie. I think some of the things they left out would have been confusing in the film, or just outright outrageous. For example, the cryogenically frozen girlfriends would have looked ridiculous in the film. I’ve heard this movie called a ‘hipster film,’ and to be honest, I don’t really know what that means. I think of it as more of a film for nerds. While I loved this movie, it’s not for everyone. I saw it with some friends, and they all thought it was the worst movie they had ever seen. And I saw it again with my brother and his girlfriend, and she fell asleep. I went to see this movie because it takes place in Toronto and Metric did some of the music, but I fell in love with this movie, despite its weirdness. Maybe I’m biased since I saw the movie first, but I thought it was an excellent adaptation.

The final volume of the Scott Pilgrim series was everything I hoped for. It was exciting, funny and full of action and character development. Artistically, this is the best book in the series. Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour is everything that is awesome and nerdy in this world. It truly is an epic of epicness.


“I feel like I’m in this river just getting swept along... And if I hold on to anyone, if I'm holding on for dear life, I'm not getting anywhere. I'm stuck...I never wanted to get stuck.”

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