Monday, July 18, 2011

New Release Movies: Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a flick from a great director in Edgar Wright, based on the comics of the same name. It's definitely a departure from his last films, which are predominantly hilarious English affairs involving Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Following up from the excellent Hot Fuzz would be no mean feat, but thankfully he delivered with quite simply a brilliant, quirky and downright cool movie.

Jables: I love me some Edgar Wright and this movie was perfect for him.  The quick edits and video game/comic book feel to the movie was total Edgar.  Loved it.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World stars "George" Michael Cera, of Arrested Development fame, with a variety of recognizable actors without any major superstars (debatable of Chris Evans). The story revolves around Scott Pilgrim, a nerdy guy who plays bass in a band hoping to make it big, and his adventures trying to defeat the Seven Evil Exes of the girl he has fallen in love with, Ramona Flowers. 

The Seven Evil Exes
Now, love is one of the oldest themes in the history of cinema. However, the way it's shown in Scott Pilgrim vs the World is pretty unique in terms of film making. The idea of the Seven Evil Exes that Scott has to defeat in order to date Ramona is very creative, and the way this is portrayed makes it work. Rather than regular character conflict, Scott has to defeat the Exes whom have supernatural powers. Essentially, the film revolves around Scott working his way to the top of the Exes. 

Scott and Ramona
There are numerous nods to videogames during the movie, from the sound and look of an 8-bit Universal screen, to arcades featuring rhythm based games, and the battle scenes themselves. The battle scenes show a versus screen, have plenty of crazy sound effects, and Scott even gets points as he defeats opponents. For the nerd in me, it works perfectly to hook me in to the story. I'm assuming it uses the comics pretty accurately (though I have not read them), and the sound effects written on the screen would highlight this.

I've read the comics and the movie is pretty much spot on.  Obviously they have cut heaps of stuff that isn't needed to make a movie but all the important stuff is there.  The only thing I can think of off the top of my head that they added was the ninja rhythm based game.  Didn't ruin it though.

Which brings me to what I love about the movie: it looks fantastic. It doesn't scream high-budget, but the special effects simply work brilliantly. Considering it involves characters flying all over the joint, and a range of colourful sparks going everywhere, it looks great and top quality. It oozes cool. The soundtrack also worked well for me, even though I get the feeling that it was all really indie music that I have no idea about. The sound effects all help deliver that excellent videogamey feel.

I love the soundtrack to this flick.  I have listened to it over and over in my car.

Crazy effects in action
The film is, as I mentioned, really quirky. This is no doubt deliberate, and the cast work to perfection to achieve it. While I'm pretty certain Michael Cera is just being Michael Cera, he's great as the nerdy and over-analytical Scott. Mary Elizabeth Winstead also delivers as the aloof love interest Ramona. The cast of Exes are all suitably over-the-top and dramatic, with some great performances from Brandon Routh as the Ex with super vegan powers, and even Chris Evans as a terribly cheesy Hollywood action star.

Vegan Powers
The film is definitely what the kids like to call "hipster" (and the film does reference this term a few times), but it doesn't manage to be pretentious like some actual hipster stuff. In the end, it's a sweet love story with a different yet cool vibe. Edgar Wright has succeeded in pulling all the parts of the movie together, from the geek and indie culture stuff, to the fantastic visuals and effects, to the terrific dialogue. A really enjoyable ride that I can't recommend enough.

I give Scott Pilgrim vs the World 8 "Level Up!"s out of 10.

Totally agree with you Quantom.  It's an easy 8/10.  It's a real treat to watch and funny as hell.  Cera does what he does best, being himself, while the rest of the cast look to be enjoying themselves.  The showdown with evil ex Todd (Brandon Routh) is probably the highlight but Scott's gay roommate Wallace (played by Kieran Culkin) was fantastic.

While it may not be everyone's cup of tea (mainly aimed at the geeky gamer/comics crowd) I really love this flick and could easily watch it over and over.  Definitely go treat yourself to the comics if you get the chance.  They are fun as well.

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen a girl with hair like this?

    I lol'd ;)