Review — Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Film, Reviews, Sydney Freeman
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[Reviewed by: Sydney Freeman]

Introducing new contributor Sydney Freeman, with his review of the new Edgar Wright comedy that everyone is talking about!

Edgar Wright returns with a stylish movie adaption of the cult comic Scott Pilgrim series. The story revolves around our hero Scott Pilgrim (Micheal Cera) who meets the girl of his dreams Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) but in order to date her he has to defeat her seven evil exes. The result can only be summarized by one word, epic. Scott Pilgrim is the story for our generation. A story that could only make sense to the MTV powered, iPod connected Nintendo generation.

Since Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is adapted from a comic book that’s ripe full of videogame references, the movie follows the same road. There are tons of musical cues from Zelda, Super Mario and Street Fighter. There are also really heavy video game references like Scott Pilgrim getting beat down only to get up and grab a life, (something akin to a 1-UP) or the evil exes turning into coins when they’re defeated. Also the films structure resemble a videogame with each ex being boss battles of increasing difficulty and Scott Pilgrim “leveling” up between each fight.

Visually the film resembles that of a comic book. A character throws a punch and a onomatopoeia appears around the punch (something like BAM or THWACK!) or whenever music is played you see it, as well as hear it. Edgar Wright manages to display this unique visual style so effortlessly that it doesn’t feel like a gimmick. This film is a testament to Edgar Wright’s filmmaking abilities. Everything about Scott Pilgrim is fluid and smooth. At times the movie feels like a comic book, a video game or a musical (with fights replacing the songs). Scott Pilgrim vs. The World accomplishes all of these things without seeming awkward or imbalanced. It’s actually the opposite. The blending of these elements make the movie hilarious. What starts out as a normal Canadian kid falling for a girl ends in scenes with him battling a psychic evil ex boyfriend and twin DJ’s using their turntables to summon giant dragons. It’s all absurd but it fits the tone of this film.

The acting also greatly helps the comedy. Micheal Cera does a fantastic job as Scott Pilgrim who is unlike the countless awkward teen roles he’s taken in the past. His acting helps you care for a character who does things that you might not agree on while still being funny. Kieran Culkin is another standout in the cast. He plays Scott Pilgrim’s gay roommate Wallace Wells. Nearly every word that comes out of his character’s mouth is hysterical. Edgar Wright also makes use of the editing to add to the hilarity. Something like a character mentioning Scott Pilgrim’s hair being shaggy with the camera cutting back to Pilgrim wearing a hat where he wasn’t before. Add in the rest of the cast’s quirky mannerisms and you have 112 minutes of non stop laughs.

Given the fact that Scott Pilgrim plays bass for the fictional band Sex Bob-omb (another sly videogame reference), music plays a big role in this film. The music itself is great. Beck contributes the most to the soundtrack with help from Broken Social Scene, Dan the Automater, Nigel Godrich, Metric and Kid Koala. Along with the videogame cues I mentioned earlier, the music is also fairly integrated with the plot. Sex Bob-omb plays against other bands and Scott Pilgrim even challenges an evil ex to a bass guitar duel. The great music adds a lot to these scenes.

Although pretty flawless in most aspects not everything is perfect about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. One problem I had was with the character Ramona. The entire time I felt she wasn’t into Scott Pilgrim even though they were dating. However, there is so much good going on that it doesn’t drag the film down. Also, I wouldn’t recommend this movie to any over the age of 30 because I don’t think they’ll get most of the jokes or references made. In short Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a spectacular comedy of epic proportions. Edgar Wright has really grown as an auteur delivering even more laughs after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

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Comments
  1. Danny Moltrasi says:

    Wont get any Oscar love, but it should.

  2. Sydney Freeman says:

    Didn’t get any box office love but hopefully it will get cult love which will lead to DVD love.

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