Every so often a movie comes out that redefines the art of cinema. Sometimes movies like these, such as Blade Runner, are not appreciated by all critics and the mainstream media, dismissed casually only to be re-discovered years later and labeled as “classic.” Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is quite possibly such a movie. Already there have been numerous reviews and analyzations of the film, so while what I have to say may be something you feel you’ve already heard, bear with me.
The film’s premise is as follows: Bass player/epic fighter Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera, falls in love with Ramona Flowers. In order for the two of them to be together, he must defeat her seven evil exes. Now if you went into the movie without first having read the graphic novel, then shame on you! The comic is fairly essential reading and offers further appreciation for the movie. While the plot is reasonably simple, as is the case with most plots of movies nowadays, there is in fact a substantial amount of depth.
Bryan Lee O’Malley, the author of the comic, was able to make his story immensely successful due to an entire range of reasons. Drawing on aspects of popular culture that we all know and love, topics ranging from video games to the ridiculousness of manga/anime oriented fights, O’Malley knew exactly what he was doing when he created his gem. Director Edgar Wright was able to take the best parts of Scott Pilgrim, including the satirization of our culture, and throw it into an awesome movie.
While something of an existential festival of joy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is also a well made film. Michael Cera, who I originally had doubts about, takes on the part of Scott Pilgrim with absolute ease, bringing his A game to the table and giving a performance that finally puts him in the spotlight, taking him out of the typecast role he’s been in for his entire film career. Cera aside, the movie is littered with great actors, Brandon Routh, Chris Evans, and Jason Schwartzman; they all preform excellently, adding their own talents to the movie in such a way that nothing is detracted and yet everything is heightened to increasing levels of amazingness.
Perhaps my one qualm with the movie itself is how some of the scenes are very rushed. There are six volumes to the “Scott Pilgrim” comic book, and that’s a great deal of source material to try and compress into a 2 hour long movie. That said, some of the movie’s villains, such as The Twins, have zero dialogue, only popping up as an excuse for Scott to get his groove on and kick their butts, be it in a fist fight or musical showdown. The comic gave each character a great deal of focus and explanation into their personal lives, the movie did not. Granted, Wright managed to make something with what he had and that alone deserves him some groovy points.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a cleverly woven movie and comic. I wouldn’t be surprised if a grand majority of it’s subtle undertones soar over the audiences’ heads. What’s important to note is that Scott Pilgrim is a terribly unique film, combining a wide range of elements in such a fashion, the likes of which has never been done before. The stylized fight sequences, fusing video game themes, action movie cliches, and brand spanking new ingenuity in filmmaking, all come together to create one hell of a show.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World offers viewers a movie different from most other mainstream films that get released. I’d go so far as to say that this particular movie is wonderfully important, and while there are certainly people who won’t and don’t appreciate it, that’s because Scott Pilgrim is a movie that’s ahead of its time. People will look back and realize this movie’s brilliance; I’m not sure when that will be, but even now, we’re becoming more aware as to how movies can be simultaneously intricate and extraordinarily fun.