in Review

Great Scott!

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz if you were to ask me Brit filmmaker Edgar Wright has already solidified himself as one of the edgiest and most inventive comedy directors working today. Jam packed films of eye popping visuals, endless jokes (both clever and well “broad”) and homages and tributes to the pop culture that he loves so dear. Edgar Wright is one of my current favs and although Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is probably his weakest film there’s still a lot to like in this frenetic teen comedy battle royale.

Based off of Canadian cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel of the same name, Scott Pilgrim is about an awkward 20 something (enter Michael Cera) who plays bass in a garage rock trio “Sex Bob-Omb” and pines over hip chick Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) though to say she has some baggage is an understatement. In order to date Ramona, Scott must rumble with Ramona’s “7 Evil Ex-Boyfriends” for some reason, I don’t know I guess if they can’t date Ramona no one can? What follows is a teenage ADD orgy of 16 bit style madness and video game like glory, wrapped up with a punchy garage rock soundtrack and topped off with more visual gags than you could wave a controller at. Let us descend into this ridiculous free-for-all.

Where to begin exactly? there’s a lot going on here which in a way is one of it’s downfalls. Scott’s epic battles against Ramona’s exes are always entertaining but “7”? This film is so jam packed it sometimes struggles under the weight of it’s bloated cast, length and silly story. Don’t get me wrong though, I loved a lot of the characters in this action/comedy of sorts. I know a lot of people have become annoyed by Michael Cera’s stream of oddly familiar roles but I don’t think anyone can play the awkward teen quite like him in this day and age. Other standouts were the members of Scott’s band, Scott’s gay roommate Wallace (Kieran Culkin), Scott’s obsessive ex high schooler girlfriend Knives (Ellen Wong) and my personal favorite Chris Evans as the evil ex #2 a macho movie star that oozes delightful cheese… Not literally. Though I was annoyed by Ramona I wouldn’t blame Mary Elizabeth Winstead though it’s not he fault her character was a bitch, Anna Kendrick didn’t seem to have much to do and Aubrey Plaza was surprisingly flat but there’s so much going on it’s easily overshadowed.

Despite the amount of fun I was having I have to say the plot is even to ridiculous for me. It hardly makes any sense and sometimes all the attempts it makes at being hip almost make me cringe. “Hipster Demons”? “The Vegan Police”? Some of those jokes are just plain weak, but I think those flaws mostly lie in the source material. From what I’ve read of the graphic novel it really is just juvenile, with so-so writing at best. Though Edgar Wright is an immensely funny writer/director there’s only so much off his own spin he can put on the original material. I think the root of the problem is the graphic novel just isn’t really that good and were lucky this was somehow produced. So yes I enjoyed it, it has it’s flaws but it’s inventive and dumb fun. Compared to most other summer blockbusters I think it’s safe to say Scott Pilgrim is a K.O.


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