Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

February 22, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

Edgar Wright is a master of frantically clever editing and naturally striking comedy, relying on lovely quips over toilet humor. His talents are as sharp as ever in the comic-book pop teenage love story, Scott Pilgrim v. the World. Out of his three feature films, this is arguably his weakest entry, but only by a hair or two. The characters are hip, in the best version of the word, the editing and cinematography are inventive visual candy, and the direction is consistently sharp and fun.

Editing and cinematography in the film are completely fabulous, giving the film an arcade-like feel and making it a completely distinct movie-going experience. It’s like the Crank films, which are lovely in their own ways, but in an evolved, originally trendy fashion. Wright mixes Facebook styled character information updates, comic-book split-screens, psychedelic splashes of color, fighting game life bars, and appropriate rock jams. Even if you cut the sound, the visuals are enough to keep you entertained.

Michael Cera in the lead role is suitable, and is an appropriate choice for Scott Pilgrim. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as the main squeeze Ramona Flowers, plays the tough hottie with ease. The innocent Knives Chau, the wonderfully deadpan Kim, the wisecracking Wallace, and the super egotistical Lucas Lee and Todd Ingram, along with the rest of the characters, further the fun of the flick. All the supporting characters are diverse and have their own individual moments, as Wright calculatingly balances their screen-time and cool-factors. The cherry on top is that many of the characters break out in martial arts fights, as opposed to the usual song, except for the one time where the characters broke out in song and fight (bonus points).

The story is the typical “boy wants girl and will do anything to get her,” but in a hyper-realistic, pop rock infused manner; in other words, it’s the same bag with brand new toys. The journey of Scott Pilgrim battling Ramona’s seven evil exes is vastly entertaining. The film is fast-food; however, it’s In-n-Out and not Del Taco.

Potential Drawbacks:

Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Anna Kendrick, Kieran Culkin, Alison Pill, newcomer Ellen Wong and the rest of the supporting cast are fantastic. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Michael Cera are great in their respective roles, but together the chemistry wasn’t completely working all the time. I feel the film would have worked better if Scott Pilgrim had a stronger drive to pursue Ramona. Yes, I understand that they are following the guidance of the source material.

Additionally, some may be put off by the constant barrage of colors and pop-ups. The film is tailored to younger audiences or the young at heart.

Film Recommendations:

Shaun of the Dead

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