SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
AUGUST 28, 2010
Certain comedies come out sporadically that indeed appear tailored to a viewer’s exact humor. “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” is that film. Not only does the film live up to its tagline: “an epic of epic epicness,” with its action sequences, music, and overall style, “Scott Pilgrim” has the cast and performances to match. Like preceding niche comedies, the mass majority of audiences will miss the humor and run from the theater, wondering what “Scott Pilgrim” exactly was (my experience twice now has left me as the only person laughing in the theater a majority of the time). “Scott Pilgrim” is a monumental and mind-blowing success, regardless of appearing mainstream or not.
First, let me start with a bold statement: any other actor in the entire world could not have played Scott Pilgrim. Michael Cera epitomizes the character. His monotone responses and wimpy guy persona fit the Pilgrim mantra to perfection. There are a thousand instances where the part is nonpareil tailored to Cera. With his puffy hair and constant blank stares, Cera send you laughing from the first few minutes of the film. Even Cera’s voice makes each line a jocular intonation.
Scott Pilgrim is in a band (The Sex-Bob-Ombs). Therefore, the music becomes an essential part of the film. As the style of the film is not the epitome of pop-culture, the music follows in the same regards. Headed by Beck, Metric, and Plumtree, the soundtrack of the film is grungy and raw, solidifying the inherent nature of the film.
The most significant portion of “Scott Pilgrim” is the action sequences. There are seven evil exes that Scott Pilgrim must face to continue dating Ramona. From start to finish, the build-up for each fight is extravagant and well proportioned. Each one of the exes has a unique appearance and extraordinary power, giving the feel of an actual video game. Each showdown is a combination of style straight out of the graphic novels, with exact words appearing when there is a “SMACK” or a “WHIP,” and the principal production value of a stylized film like “The Matrix” or “The Dark Knight.”
“Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” has a style all its own. No other film even slightly resembles it, in much the way “Zombieland” remained in its unique playing field. Decked out with the feel of an 80’s or 90’s video game, “Scott Pilgrim” is complete with an 8-bit Universal introduction and video game references throughout, including Scott winning coins after beating each of the exes, bonuses like “1 Ups” and “the power of self-respect” sword, and even a “Pee Bar.”
Though Michael Cera steals the show, the supporting cast works wonders on completing the masterpiece that is “Scott Pilgrim.” Kieran Culkin completely smashes his part out of the ballpark, delivering a performance worthy of recognition and hopefully carrying him to a much higher playing field. Mary Elizabeth-Winstead delivers a heart-stopping performance as Pilgrim’s love interest, Ramona Flowers, coming off as a heartthrob effectively. Rising from nowhere, expect to see Pill more frequently shortly. Jason Schwartzman, as the final boss, Gideon, continues his hilarious yet villainous contributions to film tapping into the likes of his bad guy performances in “Slackers,” “Rushmore,” and “Funny People.” Round off the cast with Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Evans, and Brandon Routh, and the film comes off more like a big money box office contender rather than a cult inspiring underground flick.
“Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” screams originality and devotion from the creators and all those involved. Hilarity spews from every orifice of the film, causing this viewer to laugh from start to finish on two separate viewings. Dialogue, style, music, and action make “Scott Pilgrim” an easy mark for remaining relevant for decades to come, giving off antiquity, yet modern spin on a normal situation. Plain and simple, “Scott Pilgrim” is *cuss*ing excellent and worth the price of admission 10x over.
August 13, 2010
by Bryan Lee O’Malley
(for stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead