Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

26 Aug

Title: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Year: 2010
Director: Edgar Wright
Writers: Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright, based on the comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Webber, Johnny Simmons, Brie Larson, Aubrey Plaza, Satya Bhabha, Mae Whitman, Shota Saito, Keita Saito
MPAA Rating: PG-13, stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references
Runtime: 112 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%

This was another film I was intensely psyched about, directed by a guy who has done one of my favorite TV shows (Spaced) and two seriously amazing films (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), based on a series of graphic novels I’m a huge geek for, and with a cast that includes Michael Cera, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza and Brie Larson. There was seriously nothing not to like about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World when it was announced.

Then the teaser trailers and pictures started surfacing online, and it all further proved that we were right, that this was going to be all sorts of amazing. Then came words from Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith and Jason Reitman, all of whom were shown a rough cut of the film by Edgar Wright and apparently loved it. Then fanboys like me started craving more and more, and we were given teasers after teasers, and the full trailers, and a Comic-Con panel that was packed like crazy, this was all amazing, and, to me, so is the film as a whole, a wait that was sincerely well worth it.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the ultimate geek movie, filled with references to videogames and other pop-culture items, and a visual style that’s truly like nothing that’s ever been on screen before, plus it really does capture the quirky sense of humor and fast pace of the graphic novels perfectly, something fans of the source material like me are bound to appreciate. This is the film that will get all the ones who said “Inception is the only true original film of the whole summer” to think again.

I’m trying to think about something bad to say about this film, but I can’t, I guess one could say the script is kinda just-okay, but it’s more than that because it still manages to capture the essence of the source material perfectly, and that’s all Mr. Wright and co-writer Michael Bacall should have aimed to do in the first place, to get themselves to emulate the speedy and fun style of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comics. They make this one feel like a videogame, when the title character kills someone the dead guy turns into coins, something that not only makes it way easier to get a gentler rating from the MPAA, but that also guarantees more than a few geekgasms from everyone in the audience.

Scott is twenty-two, and he’s the bass player in a band called Sex Bob-omb (after the Super Mario character), and he’s your typical guy really, he likes good music, knows a lot of fun yet useless facts, has a girlfriend and yet swoons over other girls he assumes he can’t get and he hangs out with his gay bestfriend/roommate. And then he meets Ramona Flowers, one of those awesome girls he thought he could never get, he meets her while he’s still with Knives Chau, his high-school-attending rebound girlfriend, but his relationship status with her quickly changes so he can go in pursuit of Ramona. There’s a catch however, you see, to get to be with Ramone he has to first fight and defeat her seven evil exes. And that’s when the film distances itself from reality and goes into videogame/awesome mode.

The battles look exactly like a videogame would (and the actual tie-in 8-bit Scott Pilgrim videogame is pretty damn rad on its own right) and they’re amazing, you’ll find yourself pretty much drooling over the visuals and the bold look of it all. It’s not so much that this was taken from reality as it is that this is Mr. Wright’s and Mr. O’Malley’s reality, and it’s one kick-ass reality to be in for close to two hours (or much longer than that if you’re like me and have enjoyed repeat viewings). The characters are totally awesome, from all of the evil exes, which seem truly out of this world, to the more humane characters like the roommate Wallace Wells or Stacey, Scott’s younger sister who’s played by the always lovely and amazing Anna Kendrick, who began dating Edgar Wright while shooting, thus instantly putting them in the Top 5 Most Amazing Couples list.

Edgar Wright is not a filmmaker’s filmmaker, he’s something that, to me, is even better, and that’s a filmgoers filmmaker, a guy that learned from watching and loving films and graduated into making them. Technically his films may not be the very best (though they’re pretty outstanding still), but all his films have a ton of moments that make regular movie fans, and especially fans of the specific genre, go completely nuts. He just seriously knows how to create some seriously pleasing visual moments, look at Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and there you’ll see some bits that are just unbelievable, and he adds to his quota with this one.

In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World the movie there’s a lot of what made Scott Pilgrim, the graphic novels, so damn great. And that’s the fact that beyond the fast style, beyond the awesome fights and the loud music there’s a helluva lot of honesty to these characters, a lot of what it feels to be young and in love, and the doubts that go with all of that, this is after all a coming-of-age story, it’s just the raddest one ever told.

Grade: A+


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