Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a musician in his twenties that has had a rather large “love them and leave them” track record with ladies. Scott is dating Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), a girl who is still in high school. Things between Scott and Knives seemingly go well until Scott meets a delivery girl, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstad), who takes his breath away. Convinced that Ramona is his soul mate, Scott sets out to win her over while trying to figure out how to break it off with Knives. Scott’s life is further complicated when he discovers that he will need to defeat her seven evil exes (including Jason Schwartzman, Brandon Routh, Chris Evans, Keita Saito, and Shota Saito) in order to have a normal life with Ramona.
As I mentioned earlier, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is really made for fans of the comic. Though this does not mean you have to run out and get the books before seeing the movie. I was thoroughly entertained by the film despite having not read the series. Its fast paced energy and hilarious pop culture references made this film one of the more pleasant surprises of the year. However, it must be noted that the kinetic pacing of the film will not appeal to everyone.
The film intentionally plays out like a video game on crack. At times the film is almost too self-aware for its own good. There are jokes in the film that require multiple viewings before you catch all the references. For example, Broken Social Scene’s bittersweet song “Anthem for a Seventeen Year-old Girl” plays in the background while a broken-hearted Knives plots revenge; or when Scott enters his apartment, ala Kramer from Seinfeld, to a brief sound of an audience laugh track.
While the film features a plethora of talented young actors in supporting role (including Anna Kendrick, Kieran Culkin, Alison Pill and Mark Webber), and some inspired cameos (Thomas Jane, Clifton Collins Jr.), the real star of the film is director Edgar Wright. Through Scott Pilgrim Wright succeeds in doing what the Wachowski siblings failed to with Speed Racer, and that is to make a truly engaging live action Manga style film. Pilgrim, at times, is an overload to the senses. There are so many visual treats that you will spend half of the film figuring out how Wright achieved all the different nuances.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a film that will please fans of the source material and, in my case, cause a whole new group of folks to seek out the comics. Sure the film will not appeal to the masses, but that is fine. Those who “get” the film will be treated to an immensely entertaining ride that you will want to take multiple times.