Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Not recommended under 13, PG to 15 (Themes, Violence, Sexual references, Coarse language)
This topic contains:
- overall comments and recommendations
- details of classification and consumer advice lines for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
- a review of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 August 2010.
Overall comments and recommendations
|Children under 13
||Not recommended due to adult themes, violence, sexual content, and coarse language
|Children aged 13-15
||Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes, violence, sexual content, and coarse language
About the movie
This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.
|Name of movie:
||Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
|Consumer advice lines:
||Action violence, sexual references and coarse language
This review of the movie contains the following information:
A synopsis of the story
Scott Pilgrim is a shaggy-haired and rather
nerdy 22 year-old who is in between jobs and plays bass guitar for a Toronto
neo-punk band called “Sex Bob-Omb”. Other band members include drummer Kim Pine
(Alison Pill) and guitarist Steven Stills (Mark Webber). Scott’s best friend
and room mate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) is gay and Scott is dating a
seventeen-year-old high school girl named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Scott’s
life is disrupted when he meets a roller-blading, magenta-haired girl named
Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
Scott starts dating Ramona, but the
situation becomes dangerous when Scott receives an email from one of her ex
boyfriends challenging Scott to a duel to the death. It turns out that Ramona has
seven exes, “The League of the Seven Evil Exes”, who all have superpowers of
some type. In order for Scott to have a relationship with Ramona he must defeat
them all in mortal combat.
Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.
Relationships, jealously and revenge, superheroes
Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.
Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.
Scott Pilgrim contains frequent stylised,
comic book/videogame violence with no blood and gore depicted. Some of this
violence may be imitated by children. Examples include:
- Scott is attacked by Ramona’s evil ex
number one. The fight includes numerous stylised kicks and punches to the face,
head and chest. Scott hurls a drum cymbal at his attacker, nearly decapitating
him. Scott punches his attacker in the head causing his attacker to explode.
During the fight Scott is attacked by a number of floating ghost-like young
women who fire flames from their eyes.
- Scott watches a video of a man holding a
gun, threatening to shoot people and holding a gun to a woman’s head.
- While being attacked by Ramona’s second
evil ex, Scott is thrown hundreds of metres through the air, crashing into a
building and falling through scaffolding to the ground; Scott is uninjured. He
is punched and kicked numerous times in the chest and face and bashed over the
head with a skateboard.
- A man punches a teenage girl in the face
knocking her to the ground. The man says that he was not afraid to punch a girl
because he is a rock star.
- Scott slaps a band member in the face
- One of Ramona’s evil exes is a young woman
who attacks Scott with a bladed belt. Ramona attacks the woman with a large
sledge hammer and the two women punch and kick each other. When Scott refuses
to hit her ex, Ramona takes control of Scott’s hands, forcing him to hit the
other woman. She knocks Scott to the ground and is about to stomp on his head
when Scott touches her on the back of the knee, causing her to have an orgasm
which results in her exploding in a shower of coins.
- Giant ice-breathing dragons blow Scott and
his fellow band members off of their feet with their icy breath. Scott
generates his own musical monster - a giant gorilla which attacks the dragons.
- During his fight with Ramona’s last evil
ex, we see Scott pull a flaming sword from his chest and use the sword to
attack a number of men. Scott slices the men with the sword with each man
exploding in a shower of coins. Scott wraps his legs around the evil ex’s neck
and flips him over his shoulder. Scott is speared through the chest with a
sword, collapsing and dying. Scott finds himself in the after life, but is
given back his life when he pushes a second chance button.
- Knives turns up, wielding two swords and
attacks Ramona in revenge for Ramona stealing Scott from her. She kicks Ramona in the head. Scott intervenes
and stops the two women fighting.
Material that may scare or disturb children
Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.
In addition to the above-mentioned violent
scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb
children under the age of eight, including the following:
- Images of several women floating in the
air. The women look like ghosts with mouths full of large sharp fangs and
scary-looking eyes that shoot flames.
- One of Ramona’s evil exes has white glowing
- One scene contains images of ghost-like
dragons that breathe ice on their victims. The dragons are battled by a giant
Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.
Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.
Children in this age group may also be
disturbed by the violent and disturbing images described above.
Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.
Most children in this age group are
unlikely to be disturbed by the images described above.
The following products are displayed or
used in this movie:
- Some clothing, cell phones, computers,
Coke, Pac Man and other video games are mentioned.
- Associated merchandise which is likely to
appeal to children, or interest them in seeing the film, includes the Scott
Pilgrim vs. the World graphic novels and video game (rated PG).
There are some sexual references in this
- While discussing Scott’s seventeen-year-old
girlfriend, Scott is asked “Is she hot?” and “Did you guys do it?”
- In jest, Scott’s male roommate says to
Scott, “Does that mean we have to sleep together?…You’re totally my bitch
- When Scott introduces his room mate to his
teenage girlfriend Knives he says “This is my gay room mate”. Later Knives asks
Scott’s gay room mate if he would like to know who the gay boys are at her
- While at a party, Scott is asked if he has
the “hots” for Ramona, and is told that Ramona is “hard core” and has men dying
at her feet.
- Scott tells his room mate that he got to
second base with Ramona the night before.
- A reference is made to Scott’s room mate
‘gaying up” the phone.
- Scott gets his words mixed up saying “I
want to pee on her (Knives)”. In another scene Scott mixes up his words saying
that he was “in lesbian” with Ramona instead of “in love” with.
- One of Ramona’s exes is a young woman.
Ramona tells Scott that it was just a phase she was going through and that she
was “bi-curious” at the time.
- While at a party, Scott asks Ramona if
there is anyone there that she hasn’t slept with.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is some nudity and sexual activity in
this movie, including:
- We see an image of Ramona from the back
wearing a bra, shorts and stockings.
- Romana gets into bed with Scott wearing
underwear - brief pants and a bra. They kiss passionately and then Ramona tells
Scott that she has changed her mind and doesn’t want to have sex but that she
reserves the right to change her mind back again at any moment.
- Scott’s gay room mate makes eyes at Scott’s
sister’s boyfriend, and a short time later we see the two men kissing each
- Ramona and Scott kiss passionately.
- A couple of scenes of women wearing low cut
tops that expose cleavage.
- While Scott is fighting one of Ramona’s
exes, a young woman, Ramona tells him that the woman will become sexually
aroused if he touches her behind the knee. When Scott touches the young woman
behind the knee she falls to the ground having an orgasm.
- Scott accidentally walks in on his room
mate in bed with another man. His room mate makes a remark about Scott seeing
the other man’s “junk” genitals and tells Scott that he will need the bed that night
Use of substances
There is some use of substances in this
- In a couple of scenes we see people
consuming alcohol at parties and in bars.
- Scott’s room mate comes home drunk
- We hear Scott telling Ramona that he feels
like he’s on drugs when he is with Ramona.
- Scott tells Ramona that he doesn’t do
drugs, but that if Ramon did that was fine with him and that he would do drugs
- We see Scott in a bar holding two gin and
tonics, he drinks one and becomes a little drunk.
There is coarse language and a number of
put downs in this movie, including the words:
- Bitch (used in a variety of expressions), O
God, retard, suck, arse (used in a variety of ways), hell, shit, fat arse white
girl, you’re a cocky cock, pissed off, kick her in the balls, arsehole, pain in
- The word “fuck” is used on more than a
dozen occasions, but on each occasion the image of a black rectangle is placed
over the mouth of the person using the word while the word is slightly bleeped
out but still easily made out.
In a nutshell
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a stylised
action comedy romance based on a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Mally. The film
is aimed at an adolescent audience and contains action illustrations, split
panel shots, graphic novel dialogue, 1970’s style arcade video game violence
and pop culture references throughout.
The main messages from this movie are:
- to be responsible for your own mistakes in life
rather than blaming others
- not to allow past relationships to
negatively affect new relationships
Values in this movie that parents may wish
to reinforce with their children include:
- Self respect and honesty: Scott owns up to
his mistakes rather than blaming others and takes responsibility for the
- Support and love: Scott shows his support
of, and love for, Ramona by standing up to those who would manipulate and hurt
Parents may also wish to discuss the consequences
of the use of deception in a relationship and the importance of honesty in
creating a healthy relationship. By not being honest with Scott, Ramona causes him
a great deal of emotional and physical pain, while Scott causes Knives a great
deal of emotional heartache by not being honest with her about his relationship