“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is full of win. I can’t say I’ve read the comic book, ERRRR, graphic novel, but Edgar Wright did a phenomenal job of creating a universe where everything makes sense, even when it shouldn’t. The debate will now rage on whether this gets the belt for movie of the year, my money is still on “Inception” for that, but this is no featherweight, it’s a full fledged Iron Mike lacing up, only using pink gloves to throw you off the scent until you’re inside the ring getting a classic jaw-crushing blow.
Why you’ll like this:
Quick-cutting, comic book style storytelling; tons of geeky references; young love storyline; *plenty* of top-notch action; verbally, visually and auditorially funny.
The plot: Scott Pilgrim likes a girl. Scott Pilgrim wants to date the girl. The girl has a past. The past includes seven evil exes. If Scott wants a future with the girl, his present includes a clash with the exes. And clash they shall, in heroic comic book and vintage video game style. “FIGHT!”
There’s a lot to be said for the visual effects here, but halfway through the movie I absolutely had to pause and marvel at the editing. I mentioned “Inception” for good reason, the editing in “Inception” was masterful, and “Scott Pilgrim” is the only serious contender if not outright winner in the category. The thought of working out a single scene makes my head spin, but it’s all quick and furious, yet still makes time to breathe out a story with a heartbeat, and “Inception” can’t even claim that. Splicing together so much story, action and character development while making it seem so easy and logical can’t be easy, especially while still trying to retain the comic book roots, I guess it helps to stay close to the source material.
The Scott Pilgrim world is constantly fleshed out with graphic visual aids, video game noises (particularly my favorite game of all time), and well-timed character reveals. It’s all mixed together perfectly, like an Iron Chef making his specialty dish with the most random ingredients, all coalescing in harmony to practically reinvent flavor. Yes, I’m gushing. Few films these days make me feel like something new actually happened, something fresh that reminds me why I love movies.
The cast is also on the money. A lot of relative unknowns accompanying Michael Cera, Chris Evans and Jason Schwartzman. Alison Pill (HBO’s “inTreatment”, which she also is great in) keeps her angst on display, but my favorite is absolutely Ellen Wong playing “Knives Chau”, she’s all nails in such a critical role, going toe to toe with nearly everyone in the movie and more than holding her own. If anything else needs to be said about the supporting cast then it must be said about Kieran Culkin, playing Scott Pilgrim’s roommate “Wallace” and he feels almost like a main character unto himself, so much confidence and soul, a great highlight. As for Cera, he’s good, he’s not quite his normal boyishly awkward and insecure self, but for the most part he is, mixed in with a lot of excellent action sequences that gives his character an edge and it made me sit straight up and consider: Your saturation point just may not have arrived yet good sir.
Why you won’t like this:
If you don’t like music or “new fangled” anything.
If there’s one thing to take away from this, go see the movie in theaters. I could tell from the voracious clapping that the “graphic novel” fans were thoroughly pleased with whatever crazy references they were catching, there’s plenty to be caught. Hopefully the world will take up the Scott Pilgrim challenge, the winner here is clearly everyone. Rarely relying on cliches, you feel like you explore every nook and cranny, without a stone unturned, and never getting bored. So, without ruining any story elements I’ll simply say that it’s pretty brilliant stuff.
5 out of 5 stars.
Starring: Michael Cera, Chris Evans, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, Ellen Wong
Director: Edgar Wright
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Running Time: 1 hr. 52 min.
Release Date: August 13, 2010