Exclusive review of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Credits & Solicit Info:Being the awesome person he is, Porcelain38 got tickets to an advanced screening of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Why is this exclusive? At the time of this being posted this is the only review of the film on any comic book website.
Yeah....I'm pretty awesome.
Before we start let's get one thing out of the way, I love Scott Pilgrim.
I was absolutely charmed and taken away with the series after reading the first volume. I hold the series to a very high standard and recommend it to everyone. Upon learning that the books were being made into a film, I followed every production update possible (following the director's blog updates, every bit of casting news, even went to the midnight showing of Kick-Ass just so I could see the Pilgrim trailer). However, like with any adaption, there are things to worry about: the lead actor, the choice of director, or how they can adapt an entire six volume series into one movie. So it's hard for me to separate Scott Pilgrim the series and Scott Pilgrim the stand alone movie.
However this movie kicks all kinds of ass.
For those who don't know, Scott Pilgrim is about a twenty-something year old kid who's kind of in a rut. Having no job, a high school girlfriend, sharing an apartment with a gay roommate, and being in a crappy rock band are the things that Scott lives with. All of this changes when he meets (literally) the girl of his dreams. After seeing her, Scott becomes obsessed and tries to win her love. However, to do so, he must battle all of her evil ex-boyfriends. Its kung fu action mixed with crazy 8-bit video game effects with a story of learning how to grow up and handle personal baggage. It's so crazy that it actually works.
The casting on the film is solid with absolutely no weak performances. Lots of people hate on Micheal Cera for playing the same socially awkward character over and over, but he sheds that image in this movie. Gone is the awkward mumbling and shy actions, instead replaced with a confident, take-charge attitude. Cera's performance carries the movie through the zany action scenes to the heartfelt emotional exchanges with other characters. Mary Elizabeth Winestead manages to play off Cera and creates an interesting, yet somehow believable, chemistry between the two. Every other character is somewhat one-note, but the actors pull it off, whether it be the doubtful Stephen Stills, sarcastic Kim Pine, or witty Wallace Wells. Kudos to Chris Evans (Lucas Lee, the 2nd evil ex) and Brandon Routh (the 3rd ex) for stealing the show with their pompous and cocky pretty boy characters.
The special effects are interesting to say the least. With every physical action getting an onscreen sound effect, it's hard to say that there was a boring moment during the film. The film relays heavily on using on-screen text, but it doesn't hinder the film in any way; instead it enhances the humorl. Sure one might make the complaint that there is way too much going on on the screen at one time, but when is that a bad thing, honestly? It shows that Edgar Wright had a clear vision and followed through with it, not short changing any of it.
The music in the film is fantastic. Being a fan of the books (and obviously books don't come with sound), it was cool to see how Scott's band, Sex Bob-Omb, sounded on the big screen. Most of the soundtrack is a cool, quasi-hipster, punk hybrid and fits in the tone of the movie perfectly. It's as if the soundtrack is a character itself, because music plays a huge role in the movie.
Now I will say this: if you're over the age of 30... you will hate this movie. It's aimed at a certain age group (around 16- to 29), and it knows it. With giant on-screen OMG text blaring at the audience, it may come across as ridiculous. The problems (and the way Scott handles them) come across as immature and pointless, but that's kind of the point. If you can get over the fact that this movie is supposed to be over the top ridiculous, it's a ton of fun. If can't enjoy the fact that the movie is fun and makes fun of itself at some points then, well... I think Salt is playing in the theater next door. You may enjoy that more, or you just may have no sense of humor at all.
Fans of the series will be glad to hear that Edgar Wright nailed it. Sure some of the fan favorite minor characters may only have cameos or not appear at all, but Cera and his supporting cast make up for it. Some of the subplots have been changed or all together dropped but it makes for a tighter, more coherent movie. Bryan Lee O'Malley's artwork from the series is even used in the movie for flashback sequences. There's also some new stuff thrown into the film which will guarantee a laugh (Thomas Jane's cameo was the best!). In all, it's about on par with Kick-Ass in terms of faithfulness to the source material. It's not all there, but the important stuff remains, along with a few nods to fans of the series.
Go see Scott Pilgrim because it's one of the year's best films. It's hip, edgy, loud and funny but it's the emotional core to the movie that's the real selling point. It's the story of a boy who becomes a man for the women he loves with a whole lot of ninja fights and hipster music thrown in for good measure. Go see it, and I guarantee you'll leave the theater with a big, stupid grin on your face. That's how good this movie is.