REVIEW: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

spvtw1.jpg

Scott Pilgrim leads a decently average life;  he lives with his gay roommate, is in a band and has a girlfriend in high school as a result of having his heart broken by the last girl.  Everything was going okay until the new American girl Ramona Flowers invades Scott’s thoughts and dreams.  Now Scott must battle Ramona’s 7 evil ex’s in order to win her heart and his own happiness.

Words cannot describe how much fun I had at this movie. With a basic idea of what was in-store from the very little I have read of the graphic novels there were few surprises in the movie’s progression as it followed the source material surprisingly faithfully. Where I enjoyed the books as a more of a fun curiosity with all the video game references contained, the film brought to life the comic style in a way that toed the fine line between fun and ridiculous, giving an interesting tone that I don’t believe I have ever seen done successfully in film before.

There is so much I liked about this movie it is hard to know where to begin.  The thing that sticks out first to me, strangely enough, is how nice the scene transitions were.  Maybe it is from years of growing up with movies that like fast-cuts but when a movie comes along and some thought and effort were put into making it flow nicely it automatically has a distinctive feel of cohesion I feel movies that go over-the-top rarely have.  This goes a long way into keeping the movie memorable and easy to follow which is necessary for just how animated it gets.

It was surprising to me how well the film picks up out of nowhere.  I usually find most movies a good 10 minutes minimum to really get intrigued and invested in the characters or storyline but almost right from the get-go Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World had me and wouldn’t let go.  As hard it is for me to admit, Michael Cera did a fine job as the lead with few points (although they were there) that his typecast annoying-fagget teenager style came into play and the rest cast as his friends and band mates of Sex Bob-omb did well for their respective roles.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead was stunning as Ramona Flowers, bringing the character to life while Ellen Wong makes a very good break onto the silver screen with her portrayal of the crush-crazed Knives Chau.  Even Kieran Culkin comes up big as the surprisingly funny comic-relief as Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells.  Ramona’s seven evil exs did a decent job of being complete dicks, but as usual Jason Schwartzmantakes the show away as main antagonist Gideon Graves with his uncanny ability to play the “subtle but malicious asshole” role.

As usual, Edgar Wright comes up huge with his vision in a movie that I was destined to love the minute he began work on the project.  I can’t exactly put my finger on what it is, but Wright has a knack for timing and visual style that is pleasing to sit through and I don’t believe there is another director alive that could have pulled off what he did with this material.  The movie felt, appropriately enough, like I was watching someone play some crazy video game which was accented beautifully with classic video game cliché’s such as health bars during fights, point scores and at one point gaining an extra-life.  To an average person aged there are a nice handful of recognizable homages to video games but the hardcore gamers will recognize numerable references thrown around like little inside jokes tailored specifically for a certain audience.  This much will be obvious to anyone who is into the graphic novels, but what really surprised me was how good the soundtrack was put together.  It makes sense that Scott being in a band and many of his enemies being rival artists would encourage a lot of music but the tunes, that I assume were created for this film specifically, were amazingly catchy and professionally done with the simplicity of indie band music kept in mind to seem more solid in the setting.  I can’t remember the last movie soundtrack I was really into, but it is really quite amazing and I feel it was the icing on an already delicious cake.

If there are any bad things I can say about Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, it would probably be the few parts I found Michael Cera annoying.  It is true that I find him annoying at some point in every movie he does and perhaps that is because I am just sick of how much work he gets for essentially doing the bare minimum (a dorky, awkward teen acting to be a dorky awkward teen? Fuck off…), but the two or three parts in this movie really irked me because I never read Scott Pilgrim as being as much of a bitch as Cera unwittingly made him.  It is a minor gripe, but it is fortunately one of the only ones I have.  Some of the lines are poorly delivered or just lame, like many of Roxy Richter’s, but it is hard to fault a movie for campy lines when it is based off a cartoon.  All in all, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a fun flick, and should be taken as such.  A good watch alone, for couples, multiple times or even just once, this movie should be seen in theaters for the spectacle it is.

If there ever was a movie that could be described as visual candy, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World easily takes the throne and should be experienced be everyone.

Rating: 9/10