If you have ever wondered what it would be like to watch a movie, read a comic book and play a video game at the same time then wonder no longer because Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has the answers. And to give you a hint it’s quite delightful.
What makes it even better is that this isn’t a film that wastes any screen time trying to rationalize, explain or instruct its audience members as to why the universe of the film functions the way it does, which makes it one of the most whimsical journeys you’re likely to have on screen. The bottom line is either you get the jokes or you don’t and if you’re overly-concerned about why someone who gets knocked out explodes into a pile of coins then this really isn’t the film for you.
This is a film that dares to be different amongst a forest of look-a-likes and wannabes and just on that alone this film is worth the price of admission. It is one of the most dazzlingly inventive films to come along in years and a much needed breath of fresh air.
This film is very funny but funnier than most because its funny to its core meaning not only does the comedy spawn from the characters, as what they say and do matches their personality but being very much a comic book and video game on film as well it is replete with sight gags most of which you have to keep your eyes peeled for.
To put it mildly this is somewhat of a departure for the wildly talented director of this film, Edgar Wright. The man who was until this point most well-known for his brilliant comedy-homages Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Wright took a bold step in this film and boy is it ever a rewarding one.
The film never backs down from its vision or concept from the beginning. There are constantly familiar gaming interfaces and from comics action lettering, split-panels and the like to adron the imagery.
Yet all this invention and gadgetry would only go so far without the right cast in place and this film certainly has that going for it as well. If Michael Cera isn’t overexposed he’s certainly very close, however, true overexposure only comes when you stop doing good work and if there was ever a part suited for him to play it is this. He brings comedy to the simplest lines, he engenders sympathy and understanding even when his decisions aren’t the most sound. He’s the ideal, awkward everyman of the moment and he shines in this part. Kieran Culkin, as his roommate Wallace is also a picture perfect choice, even given his over-the-top flamboyant lifestyle it makes sense and you believe it when he is the one who is trying to get Scott’s life in order.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the object of Scott’s affection, Ramona Flowers, brings the perfect balance of cool-masking-past-pain to the equation and conversely Ellen Wong, playing Knives Chau, develops perfectly in both directions and plays both obsessive groupie and jilted girlfriend perfectly and to add further balance to the equation is Wilmington native Aubrey Plaza, playing Julie Powers, who hates Scott’s guts from start to finish.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World not only dares to be different but succeeds with flying colors and creates something completely and totally original. It’s a film that may not have found its niche in the marketplace just yet but take a seat and watch it however you can manage it because you likely won’t regret it as you’ve scarcely seen anything like it. Game over.