When I’m around you, I kind of feel like I’m on drugs. Not that I do drugs. Unless you do drugs, in which case I do them all the time. All of them. – Scott Pilgrim
Love is a many splendored thing. Sometimes love comes easy, sometimes you have to fight the memories of your current love’s exes. Even though you’ve never met them, you still feel like you’re being compared to them, for a little while at the very least. Sometimes you have to fight off these memories in your mind, sometimes it becomes painfully obvious that you’ll have to fight them in real life and fight them hard. Thus it is when Scott Pilgrim meets the love of his life, Ramona Flowers. Little do we know when Ramona first roller blades through our protagonist’s dreams that Scott’s life will be completely flipped around.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World written and directed by Edgar Wright based on the comic by Bryan Lee O’Malley and starring; Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Jason Schwartzman, Anna Kendrick, and Aubrey Plaza. This movie is to young actors what the Ocean’s movies are to the generation before them – a superb ensemble film that highlights the best parts about each of the actors.
I know a few people who can not stand Michael Cera. I can understand this, he doesn’t have a whole lot of depth as an actor. If you’ve seen Arrested Development or Super Bad you’ve seen the range in his acting. But the great thing about SPVTW is it works, and it works well. The written character of Scott Pilgrim isn’t the coolest kid, he’s actually quite slow (seeming) but when the going gets tough, this bad ass bass player pumps up the jam and takes aim at the goal! Although he will probably forget what the goal is about fifteen seconds later.
Scott lives with his gay friend Wallace Wells played by Kieran Culkin. Wallace is a gossipy little bitch who is always quick to spread any rumor he hears about Scott off to Scott’s sister Stacey, who is played by the lovely Anna Kendrick, who is always quick to give Scott a good earful. Scott is also in the band, Sex Bob-omb, as previously mentioned, he plays bass. His ex-girlfriend Kim plays drums while his other friend Steven Stills, the talent, plays guitar. They aren’t really good, and the cool thing about the comics is the fact that most of their songs are written out so you can play along!
Through friends of his band-mates Scott’s motley crew end up at a party held by Julie Powers, Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Rec fame, where he sees the girl who roller bladed through his dreams twice, Ramona Flowers. After a couple of horribly awkward conversations with Ramona, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, she finally agrees to go on a date with him.
Fast forward a few minutes in the film and we get our first encounter with one of Ramona’s evil exes. Apparently her seven evil exes have combined forces under the leadership of Gideon, Jason Schwartzman, to get rid of Scott and have Ramona go back to Gideon.
This is where the movie becomes EPIC, early reviews of Scott Pilgrim bashed it for being another video game movie. They were right, it is a video game movie! But it doesn’t try to hide the fact that it is campy as hell but it’s based on a comic, not a game. It’s not Laura Croft, it’s not Super Mario Bros (awesome movie imho), it’s not Resident Evil. It’s a comic movie that follows more faithfully than almost any movie I’ve ever seen. (Personally I see it as a close second to 300 when it comes to movies based on comics in terms of faithfulness.)
SPVTW is a video game movie because they exploit all the things that make games great and shove them in the audiences face. From baddies turning into piles of coins, to 1-ups popping up, to crazy animatics enhancing every sound effect, to the main character getting +10 Charisma and +10 Self Esteem when he finds the power of love.
You couldn’t ask for a better director/writer for this film. Edgar Wright has proved his ability to do amazing work with genre movies with Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and his TV show Spaced. He understood the necessity of being faithful to the comics much in the way that Zack Snyder was with Watchmen and 300. But he was also smart enough to cut out the parts that bogged down the story at the rare times that occurred. Much unlike Zack Snyder with Watchmen.
We haven’t seen the last of Edgar Wright, and hopefully he is able to find another comic or video game to convert to film.