Individual, Funny and hosting some impressive special effects, Scott Pilgrim stands tall in a crowded box office of remakes and sequels.
I won't lie; Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is not a movie that everyone will enjoy. That said, anyone who has any kind of slight familiarity with video games or video game culture will appreciate what's on offer here.
Believe me when I say that this movie is like nothing you've ever seen. Based on a graphic novel/comic book of the same name which takes heavy influence from old school gaming culture. You'll find references to the Legend of Zelda, Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog to name but a few in here and if non of that means a thing to you then you're probably one of the aforementioned people that might not understand or enjoy this movie, but I'd urge you to appreciate the team behind it for doing something different.
Scott is a somewhat flawed individual which comes across quite early. He begins the movie dating 17 year old Knives Chau and his attention soon switches when he begins dreaming about rolling blading delivery girl Ramona Flowers who he soon enough runs into and quickly falls for. The story then hits it's stride when the Ramona's major flaw comes into play - her 7 evil Exes which Scott must defeat in order to continue dating her. The whole 7 evil ex idea might sound completely insane/cheesy but all of the fights take the form of an end of level boss fight which is what gives the movie a lot of it's appeal and individuality.
Part comedy, part action movie, part love story with action and comedy playing a rather large part here, to which I have no complaints. I'll admit, it takes a little longer than I expected to get going but once the first action scene hits it's clear what's on offer. All of the action here is completely stylized which makes it more akin to the video games from which it so heavy draws it's influence from; you'll see 8 and 16 bit fonts being used, classic sound effects and music pulled straight out of your favorite games as well as combo meters to mention but a few. Suffice to say, realism is definitely not a defining factor here; there's a lot involved that could alienate or simply skip over most, but to me, a gamer and fan of great film making, I have nothing but respect for the level of commitment that is on show here. Director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz & Shaun of the Dead) and the production team have definitely taken a lot of risks here that will more than likely end up with lack-luster turn over when it comes to the box office sales, but it's risk taking and that's something we just don't see enough of in modern times.
I was a little skeptical when I saw Michael Cera being cast as the lead, however after seeing his impressive performance in Youth in Revolt as well as his other awkward/Sub-romantic roles it's easy to see why he was chosen and in the end he proves to be a good choice. He's almost instantly likable and delivers all of his lines perfectly, easing in and out of manically depressed and back into kicking ass. Speaking of lines, a lot of which is directly pulled out of the pages of the comics, credit is due to Bryan Lee O'Malley for all of the source material which is full of genuinely wit and humor. All of the other performances are solid; the gorgeous Mary Elizabeth Winstead handles Ramona perfectly and the casting for the evil exes are great and all real fun to watch while they're on screen.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is not a film for everyone, this much is for sure, however this isn't what delivers the appeal of the movie. It's something completely different that succeeds in achieving what it sets out to; delivering a kick-ass action movie with a ton of genuine laughs whilst sticking close to the source material. If you've stuck this far with me into this review I'm sure once you've sat down and taken in what Scott Pilgrim offers you'll agree with me.