Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim Gives Summer an Extra Life

Hey man, do you like things that are awesome with snarky humor that would make your mom say, “WHHAAT?!?” and just leave you rolling your eyes in total humiliation? Then you will love, cue the movie guy voice, Scott Pilgrim VS the World!!!! That’s right kids this is the homage to your youth that you’ve been waiting for!

Scott Pilgrim vs The World isn’t your typical comic book movie. There are no caped crusaders or robot-powered super heroes in this story. In fact it’s more like 500 Days of Summer meets Stan Lee. The basic premise is this Scott Pilgrim must defeat Ramona Flowers’ evil ex’s in order to continue dating her. You would think these battles would be the highlight of the film, but that’s where you’re wrong. It’s the dialog between the characters that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Scott Pilgrim vs the World is one of the funniest movies I have seen all year. This is mostly due to the writing, as for most of the film Edgar Wright just let’s the comic live out on screen.

The first few scenes play out just as they did on the page only with a little movie flair. This goes on for most of the movie minus the end, but I won’t go on a complaining rant about the glory of the comic and what I think they should have done. Lets just leave it as they changed some things, things that I wouldn’t have changed and others that I thought made a good addition to an already great story. With minor gripes aside, I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of this epic tale of epicness. There are two reasons why this worked so well, one is the overall talent of Edgar Wright and the second is casting.

The cast of Scott Pilgrim is amazing; everyone stands out in their own right, most of all Michael Cera. Just when I think I’m done with Cera he always seems to prove me wrong. In his last two roles, he has proven that if given the right material he isn’t just one dimensional.  Though this was proven more so in Youth in Revolt than in Scott Pilgrim, Cera still surprised me in the role. After seeing him as Scott I can’t imagine anyone doing it better and I also can’t read the book with out thinking of his timing. Cera will now forever be the voice of Scott Pilgrim in my mind. When talking about the acting in Scott Pilgrim, I can’t leave with out saying something about the genius that is Kieran Culkin who plays Scott’s gay roommate Wallace Wells. His comedic timing is off the charts. With Pilgrim and Lyme Life, Kieran has quickly become one of my favorite indie actors. The only complaint I have with any of the acting decisions in this film would have to be the lack of screen time Brie Larson had. I love Brie in The United States of Tara and I would have loved to have seen more of her in the film. This has to be my biggest gripe with the film when it comes to the comic translation; we needed more Envy Adams!

While the acting was a major stand point in the film it’s Edgar Wright’s (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) visual decisions that make the film so much fun. For the fist time I feel like I was actually watching a comic book brought to film. You could almost see the page turn it was so precise. With classic comic feel and new age graphics, Scott Pilgrim is like nothing I have ever seen. One scene that still stands out in my mind is when Scott’s 17 year old girl friend Knives sees his band for the first time. Cracks of digital lightning fly from the drums as the small living room falls to the emotional mercy of Knives’ fan girl imagination. Wright captures this moment perfectly adding to the story in ways the book could not. It’s with this kind of high powered visual story telling that Wright can keep up the spitfire comedic pace. I have loved everything that Wright has done but in Pilgrim, I feel like he found his visual voice.

There wasn’t a moment in the entire film that I ever lost my smile and by the end of the ride my entire face hurt from pure enjoyment. Scott Pilgrim has everything that I have been looking for this summer and more. From the 8-bit Universal logo on, I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you’re anything like me just before the credits roll you’ll be ready to press continue and restart this epic journey. As we wind out these last few summer weeks I can safely say that Scott Pilgrim vs the World is one of my favorite movies of the summer. Let’s just say Pilgrim, Inception and Kick- Ass have a hard fight ahead of them to see who is number one.

I give Scott Pilgrim vs the World 5 “8bits of Epicness” out of 5

Wow, I know what you’re thinking, “he just went an entire review with out talking about Jason Schwartzman, is he ok? Is he sick? Should I be worried? He usually takes any chance he can to rave about the guy.” Well, I can’t believe I did it either. I didn’t talk about how great Schwartzman is and how much I loved him as Scott’s final nemesis. I didn’t talk about how under rated Jason is as an actor or how funny he was in the movie, then slyly rolling that into a discussion about how you need to see his films. Then on to more shameless plugs of films like The Darjeeling Limited. To be honest, I had to try really hard not to; I guess I just couldn’t find a place to fit it in. Trust me the little fan boy inside me is disappointed too, or is he?

By Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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