"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" Movie Review (2010)

8/14/2010 Posted by Admin

"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"

Movie Review

Directed by Edgar Wright, Written by Wright and Michael Bacall, 112 Minutes, Rated PG-13.

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Edgar Wright truly is a miracle worker. With "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," the British director of the brilliant "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" has made (without 3-D, mind you) a film that is a true gamechanger in every way, something so visually spellbinding and comedically inventive that it really proves there's room out there for flat-out originality in mainstream cinema. I hesitate to call it revolutionary, but I can't imagine many better words to describe it.

Based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley, the film follows Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), bass guitarist for the struggling Toronto-based indie punk band Sex Bob-Omb, who falls for a deadpan delivery girl named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) only to discover shortly thereafter that to remain in a relationship with her he must defeat in battle her seven evil ex's--the mystical Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha), the self-absorbed action movie actor Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), the vegan bassist Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), Roxy Richter (Mae Whitman) from Ramona's more bi-curious days, twins Kyle and Ken Katayanagi (Shota and Keita Saito), and their twisted leader and Ramona's most recent ex, Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman).

The film is really a narrative wonder. Wright jumps from scene to scene in pure rapid comic style, really unlike anything I've seen before, and the dialogue, a pleasant mix between the deadpan mastery of his British films and the clever writing of O'Malley, is just as rapidfire and it's often hysterical.

Really, once Wright starts he just doesn't stop--there's hardly a single dull moment in the whole thing. Inspired by musicals of the '40s and '50s (specifically the work of fellow British auteurs Powell and Pressburger), Wright fills his sets with so much vibrancy, the colors often as varied as Ramona's ever-changing hairstyle, that it's at once chaotic and wild but also quite lovely and dreamlike. He even stages his action sequences--each more uproarious and exciting than the last--as musical numbers. In his own words, "When the emotion becomes too strong in a musical, people break out in song, but when it becomes too strong here, they break out in fights."

Wright, visionary as his work may be, doesn't deserve every ounce of credit, though. He's put together one of the best ensemble casts of recent years. There's the wealth of excellent comedic talent behind the evil ex's, of course, but the supporters surrounding Scott in daily life are great as well--Alison Pill, Mark Webber, and Johnny Simmons make up the rest of Sex Bob-Omb, Anna Kendrick plays Scott's sister, and Kieran Culkin absolutely steals the show at every opportunity as Scott's roommate. His is really a starmaking performance.

Honestly, it's hard to describe "Scott Pilgrim" without hyperbole. It will appeal to many but also appall just as many with its intense dedication to its video game loving, indie-music fueled ADD audience, but it's doubtful anyone, lover or hater, will find a film more shamelessly unique in this year of excessive 3-D and sequel after sequel, remake after remake.

Grade: A

View the trailer for "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" below. What did you think of the movie?

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  1. Edward29 said...

    Great review Rob I like your taste in movies.
    I loved the film and it made me interested in buying the graphic novels.
    The movie was very funny I got a stomach cramp laughing so hard.
    I kinda rolled my eyes when Matthew Patel started singing then I was happy when he started shooting fireballs, seeing the in movie crowds WTF reaction to him and then was quickly dispatched into a bunch of coins.
    I love that they got the rights to play music and sound effects from games like Zelda, Final Fantasy, an Mario.
    I don't really like sequels, but I'll take another Scott Pilgram film.