Welcome Guest | Register | Login

Philly2Philly Reviews 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World'


Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World photo courtesy of www.shockya.comWhen watching Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, I realized one very important fact about the movie; it’s perfect for me, and people like me. This is a problem.

I’m a mid-twenties movie buff who dabbles in comics, grew up with a Nintendo controller in hand, and watched too many kung-fu movies during my formative years. I’ve read the Scott Pilgrim books by Brian Lee O'Malley  too many times to count. Statistically speaking, I’m an outlier. If I like a movie, there’s a good chance my taste’ll overlap with the general public, but for such an overlap to occur with Scott Pilgrim would be, well, impossible. Like a tailor-made suit, it might fit a few people; myself excluded, it’ll rarely be a good fit for anyone else.

The high-concept premise of Scott Pilgrim (whose title character is played by Michael Cera) is this; the titular young man (the term is used loosely) falls for one Ramona Flowers (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and must defeat her seven evil exes who want him dead. If he wins, he gets to date her; if not, game over. It’s a piece of cinema that, from the opening logo, is clearly coded for the recent generations of video gamers, but has enough solid visual humor, snappy dialogue, action, and quick pacing to keep others well occupied. Almost too much, in fact.

As a director and a writer, Edgar Wright has been developing a uniquely kinetic style of visuals, starting with the cult favorite show Spaced  and extending to the films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The big difference lay in the pacing; Spaced laid on jokes in unrelenting fashion, while his movie work allowed the humor to breathe. Scott Pilgrim is more akin to Spaced, and the appeal of such an approach can be polarizing. Combined with the hyper-fast camera work, the movie can also be unforgiving to those unable to keep up. In the irony department, two of Ramona's ex-boyfriends, Todd (Brandon Routh) and Winfred (Chris Evans) have previously played super heroes on the silver screen. Routh in Superman Returns, and Evans in The Fantastic Four film series  and soon in The Avengers and Captain America.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World manages to be both a paean to video game culture and a faithful adaptation of an entire six-volume series of books; it succeeded in capturing the essence of the source material while playing up the aspects that couldn’t be done on paper alone. Wright deserves heavy praise for that. It’s unfortunate, though, that everything that appeals to me about this movie could – and will - be grating to the greater majority. I recommend it not whole-heartedly, but with reservation.

Contact Brian Lynch at brian.andrew.lynch@gmail.com

Thumbnail: Universal Pictures

Article photo: www.shockya.com