Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World


Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by:Michael Bacall, Edgar Wright
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman
Released: August 12, 2010
Grade: A (the equivalent of 7,000,000,000 points)

About half way through this film, I realised I had let my guard down.  I was having too much fun.  My critic’s hat had fallen off.  I wondered if I should be looking for flaws.  Were some jokes overdone?  Did they go too far with the fast-paced editing?  Who might not like a film such as this?

I quickly pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind.  This moment was not to be ruined.  Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World had tapped into my warped sense of humour and wasn’t letting go.  Laughing out loud and sitting in a packed cinema – it reminded me once again of why I love movies.

Many will already be familiar with the works of 36-year-old English director Edgar Wright.  He burst onto the scene with Shaun Of The Dead in 2004 and followed up with Hot Fuzz in 2007.  Both are spoof comedies and both developed a cult-like following.

With Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Wright has taken on his most challenging assignment yet.  The film is based on the comic book series from Bryan Lee O’Malley which has a small, yet devoted fan base.  Wright’s dilemma is that he has to (1) satisfy the exceedingly high expectations of those who have read the books, whilst (2) making something commercial enough to lure the other 99.9% of the population.

Having left the cinema with a beaming smile on my face, I can safely declare that Wright had ticked both boxes.  I preface that comment by acknowledging that some will hate it.  There were a few walk-outs during the preview I attended.  I guess they weren’t amused by the funny video game references and Wright’s “attention-deficit” style of filmmaking (where a million things are happening at once).

As the title promises, the story centres on 23-year-old Scott Pilgrim.  He lives in a tiny apartment, he plays the guitar is a crummy band and he hasn’t had a girlfriend in over a year.  I realise Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno) has a very limited range as an actor but he’s the perfect person for this role.  With his breaking voice, awkward one-liners and dopey-looking facial expressions, Cera makes it look “cool” to be a “nerd”.

Scott’s eyes are transfixed on a girl by the name of Ramona Flowers (Winstead).  The only way he can win her heart is to defeat her seven evil “exes”.  They will each come after Scott and challenge him to a duel.  He must find their weaknesses, take them down and proceed to the next level.

If this sounds like an arcade game… then yes, you are right.  Please collect 1,000 bonus points.  Wright has used an arsenal of specials effects to construct a world which pays tribute to iconic video games.  You’ll realise this within seconds of seeing the Universal logo at the start.  It sets the tone for what is to follow – inspired visuals with creative editing.  The sound effects are great too.

I’ve already paid homage to Michael Cera but the whole cast is fantastic.  Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down) gets the most laughs as Scott’s gay flatmate.  Followers of Chris Evans, Brandon Routh and Jason Schwartzman will also have much to like. 

You should realise by now that this is MY kind of movie.  It’s cute, it’s funny and it’s original.  One of the year’s best!