Archive for September, 2010

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

September 30, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

This film wonderfully blends the comic books which it was based from into a visual world of action, adventure, comedy and romance.  It stays very true to the books and creates an indie pop kind of feel to the film without being pretentious about it and then blows you away with wildly entertaining action sequences which blend classic comic book style action into the world of film action nearly seamlessly.

The story is that of one Scott Pilgrim, age 23, who is dating a high schooler, age 17.  Things are going fine, they have a very tame relationship with Knives, the high schooler, is Scott’s rebound, but Scott is to timid to actually rebound, and he plays in a band called Sex Bob-omb (a Mario reference).  Things start to go wrong when a new girl, Ramona Flowers, happens to rollerblade through Scott’s mind while he sleeps.  The next day, while he is on a date with Knives, he sees Ramona in real life and becomes obsessed with her and tries to figure out who she is and track her down.  He does and asks her out, only after they have gone out, he finds out he has to defeat her seven evil ex’s.  This is where the story takes off as Scott has take them on and defeat them one by one.

The acting works really well in this film.  Michael Cera, of Arrested Development (or more likely Superbad) fame, does a great job in this film.  It is a fairly typical and awkward role for him, but that is what the character is supposed to be, and he can play that to a tee.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead takes on the role of Ramona Flowers, and she isn’t as memorable as some of the other characters, but her character is meant to be fairly aloof at times and disinterested and disconnect in some ways from the world, and you get that feel as it doesn’t connect as well with the audience.  Ellen Wong does a very good job as Knives being another fairly memorable character, she is very sweet and plays well into the comic book side of the film.  Alison Pill, Johnny Simmons, and Mark Webber do very good jobs as Scott’s friends and band mates.  Their roles are smaller than some of the others, but still entertaining.  Anna Kendrick is fun as Scott’s extremely nosy sister, and Aubrey Plaza does a good job in playing a similar sort of role as a friend of Scott’s.  The real show stealer, though, is Kieran Culkin who is simply hilarious as Scott’s roommate.  He is funny and droll and an all around busy body who is funny in every scene that he is in.

Visually is what really  makes this film.  Edgar Wright, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead fame, does a brilliant job with this film.  It is difficult to describe how closely he sticks to the story and makes this film feel like the comic that it came from.  There are “kapow”s and little snide graphics inserted into this film like they are inserted into the books.  When the evil ex’s are vanquished, they turn into coins and Scott gets points.  Scott levels up and gets an extra life.  The extra life is an old 8 or 16 bit style life, but it fits in perfectly with the film.  And the action scenes are so over the top that they are funny but extremely well done.  Visually this film just pops off the screen and it is nice that they didn’t try and make it 3D, because while it would seemingly lend itself to doing something like that, making just bits and pieces 3D wouldn’t have been all that great.  The music in this film works pretty well, the songs by the bands in the film are great, and at times the other music can be a bit annoying, as it is generally very indie, but it works with the feel of the film.

A film that is worth checking out even for the style that it is shot in.  It won’t appeal to the mass audience, but it does everything really well from the story, the acting, and the technical standpoints of the film.  But because it is really quite geeky, not everyone will appreciate the odd type of humor that it shows off.  If you do understand and appreciate the geek humor, it will be hard not to love this film.

Entertainment Grade: B+

Critical Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B+