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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

A 2010 American action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright based on the comic book series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

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The dork who would be King.

  • Nov 11, 2010
**** out of ****

Try to think of Edgar Wright’s “Scott Pilgrim” as a PG-13 version of “Kill Bill”, although with noticeably more CGI, romance, less revenge, no gore, and demon hipster chicks. I am about to say many things about “Scott Pilgrim”, but if there was a one word explanation for the film, it would obviously be awesome. Yes, this film takes you for a ride through retro romance and rock and roll radicallness. I consider it to be compelling since it manages to be hilarious, entertaining, cool, awesome, and oddly addicting at the same time. It takes a unique, clever film to do that, and “Scott Pilgrim” is the one to deliver. I recently read the entire comic book series in which the film is based on, and they were pretty solid all around. Perhaps they did not rock as much as the film adaptation did, but like Alan Moore once said, comic books are one thing and movies are another. Nevertheless, “Scott Pilgrim” is faithful to the source material, yet it still kicks major ass. What’s the deal? I don’t know if this is regularly supposed to happen, but Edgar Wright’s swift and smart direction combined with visually stunning action sequences make “Scott Pilgrim” rock hard on all fronts. Every year (in which there is a new Edgar Wright film) is essentially Wright’s year on his own right (pun intended). So far, every one of his directorial movies has been completely awesome, hilarious, and completely unhinged. Sure, “Scott Pilgrim VS. The World” is not the same violent, profanity laden festivity that “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead” were, but hey. It’s still a “Kill Bill” clone (without gore or an animated sequence that could have given the film a hard NC-17 rating), and a damn good one too. So basically, I see “Scott Pilgrim” as one flawless production. Yes, it isn’t deep or completely different, but what the hell. A film this entertaining, this funny, and this wild is worth celebrating. Therefore, Edgar Wright scores big…for the third time in a row. Yet another cult classic has officially been born, my friends. And it’s awesome, radical, and action packed throughout. Not to mention the casting of Jason Schwartzman as the final evil ex, which was just plain ingenious.

Scott Pilgrim is a young man who has suffered a life of heartbreak and aimless existence. He’s a slacker, a “lover”, and now even a fighter. The film begins with Scott’s relationship with a Chinese High Schooler by the name of Knifes Chau. Mr. Pilgrim is also in a band with his childhood friends, which include Kim Pine and Stephen Stills (not to mention Young Neil, who apparently just “lives here”). The cast of characters is quirky as it is, although it just keeps getting more awesome. One day, while at the library, Scott (literally) find the girl of his dreams (again, literally). That girl is Ramona Flowers, a tough cookie from America (because the plot takes place in Canada, duh). Ramona is supposedly hard to get, although via an Amazon.ca delivery (yes, Ramona delivers the packages for the company), Scott is able to score a date with the girl. He is aware that he is of course two timing, although he’s too nice of a guy to break up with Knifes, at first. He eventually gets a little boost of courage, and continues his awesome love life with Ramona. Oh, but there is a slight catch. Scott must defeat Ramona’s 7 evil ex-boyfriends (one of them is actually a girl, to be accurate) in order to keep his girl by his side, and his first opponent in battle is Matthew Patel. After essentially kicking his ass into next week, Mr. Pilgrim must step up his game and defeat the other enemies. It sounds simpler than it looks, but you’d be surprised at how clever “Scott Pilgrim” turns out to be. Sure, you can’t expect an Oscar winning screen-play out of a romance involving constant video game references and stylized action sequences, but “Scott Pilgrim” is really a winner in every way. The script itself is clever but lacking depth. The romance wasn’t entirely convincing in the book, and it’s not much better here. Needless to say, you’ll be laughing way too much to care. I think you’ll be able to handle a wild ride such as “Scott Pilgrim” quite well, although see it with an open mind. I myself don’t love video games, although the references were clever. Don’t hate it because of the video game references. If you hate it at all, hate it because it’s too good to be real.

The only thing that could make such a hilarious, thrilling film better is a good cast, and “Scott Pilgrim” sure as hell has it. Michael Cera gives an unusually unique performance as a character that for once progresses and becomes braver over time. There’s still genuine Michael Cera awkwardness, but not as much of it as we’ve seen in past experiences. Needless to say, Cera is a respectable actor on all fronts. The leading lady is none other than (you DIDN’T guess it) Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I’m not terribly familiar with this young woman, but that doesn’t matter. Her character’s personality shows that her performance is pretty darn good overall. Her portrayal does the comics loads of justice, as does everyone’s respective performances. Kieran Culkin basically steals the show as Wallace Wells, Scott’s gay roommate. Why does he steal the show? Because he’s funny, and he provides much needed comic relief. Alison Pill puts on a sort of interesting performance as Kim, and Mark Webber is pretty awesome as the infamous Stephen Stills. Ellen Wong provides a hilarious portrayal of the outgoing and even at times creepy Knives Chau. Anna Kendrick provides her acting skills for the role of Scott Pilgrim’s sister, Stacy Pilgrim. Kendrick does not steal the show here, but when she’s there, she’s rather good. Now for the evil exes. Evil Ex number one (Matthew Patel) is portrayed uniquely and hilariously by Satya Bhabha. Lucas Lee (Evil Ex #2) is played by Chris Evans, who was perfect for the role. Evans is a generic, cocky movie star, who can so easily portray one on film. His acting is so over the top that’s it’s genuinely awesome whenever he’s on screen, even if I still don’t favor Evans as an actor. Todd Ingram (Evil Ex #3) is played by Brandon Routh (Superman), who can put on quite a show as a true blue Vegan. Mae Whitman (Arrested Development) plays the sole evil ex girlfriend, Roxy Richer. The twins are respectively played by Shota Saito and Keita Saito. And finally, my favorite actor of all time, Jason Schwartzman, plays the final evil ex boyfriend, Gideon Gordon Graves. Gideon was one of my favorite characters in the comic, and Schwartzman adds even more flare to his character. As you can see, this is an awesome cast. The actors bring out the best of themselves through humor and genuine awesomeness, and therefore I’m thankful.

“Scott Pilgrim” is a romantic action film with video game references, consistent humor, and (of course) demon hipster chicks galore. I thought that the comic alone was clever (the hilarity made the comic good overall, in fact), but I found the movie to be funnier anyways. I mean, Edgar Wright has never committed the sin of failing to make me laugh. His films have and will always manage to be hilarious no matter what, and luckily he delivered with “Scott Pilgrim”. The style of humor is mostly slapstick and running gags, and well as awesome one timers (Slick…aka, Matthew Patel’s song is as random as it is hilarious and ingenious). Edgar Wright is really the only guy who can pull off such as thing as well as he does here, and he ultimately succeeds in creating a stylishly funny film. Not only is it funny, but the film is also full of action. And I mean action when I say it. This is no generic action film, and instead it is a “Kill Bill” replica without any blood. Hence the PG-13 rating. I say it’s a “Kill Bill” replica because it is so stylized. Never is it brutal, but always stylish in how the violence is carried out. Whether the characters be dancing, singing, or just swinging swords about, the violence is always fun and cool to look at. We have CGI to thank to that, and Edgar Wright puts technology to good use. As you’ve probably heard, “Scott Pilgrim” is great eye candy. It is awesome enough as it is (with all the rock and roll and stuff), but there’s even more visual effects than there is musical pleasure. The film is very, very well edited throughout, and the cinematography (courtesy of Bill Pope, cinematographer for “The Matrix”) is excellent. Aside from that, this film has a pretty solid soundtrack overall. There’s a little bit of Beck, plenty of Sex Bob-omb, and a good original score as well (which alone is worth it simply because of Matthew Patel’s “Slick”). So if you want pure awesomeness, you should expect nothing less from Edgar Wright’s latest movie.

Awesome. And in every way. Every move that Edgar Wright makes is ingenious, which is certainly why his films all turn out so damn great. “Scott Pilgrim” is like an extra dose of Edgar Wright awesomeness, even if it isn’t quite as good as “Shaun of the Dead”. I still consider it to be perfect none the less. I wouldn’t have known it, but Scott Pilgrim VS the World turns out to be one of the finest movies that I’ve seen in the cinema all year. I don’t think it will be nominated for Best Picture (since awesomeness often goes unrecognized), but the film is destined to be the next big cult classic. You will enjoy it if you enjoy the celebration of funny filmmaking. It may be like all good comedies (lacks romantic depth, but then again has comedic genius written all over it), but it is in no way generic or familiar. It is a thrilling, wholesomely new experience. With Wright’s filmmaking talents and a lot of star power, I loved this film to the core. I don’t expect everyone will, but it seriously rocks no matter what everyone else may think. It’s got good visuals, good tunes, good writing, and it’s got hilarity as well as….a little bit of romance. But just a “little” bit.

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January 09, 2011
How did I miss this?! great review!!
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a 2010 American action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright based on the comic book series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The film is about Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) meeting the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to win Ramona over, Scott learns that he must defeat Ramona's seven evil exes, who are coming to kill him.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was planned as a film after the first volume of the comic was released. Director Wright became attached to the program and began filming in March 2009 in Toronto, Ontario. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World premiered after a panel discussion at the San Diego Comic-Con International on July 22, 2010. It received a wide-release in North America on August 13, 2010.

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    Director: Edgar Wright
    Genre: Action, Adventure
    Release Date: August 13, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Studio: Universal Pictures
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