Director Edgar Wright has
quickly become a leading voice in this generation of filmmakers after
Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the British sitcom, Spaced.
Combining multiple genres, paying loving homage to geek subculture and
being dead funny seem to be second nature. So it only makes sense that
he would direct the film adaptation of Bryan Lee OíMalleyís
genre-mash-up comic series, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
story centres on Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), a bassist for a Toronto
indie band, called Sex Bob-omb, that dreams of getting signed to a
record label. Having come off a big break up, Scott is content to play
it safe by dating Knives Chau, a 17-year old Chinese-Canadian
high-schooler. His life changes when he meets Ramona Flowers (Mary
Elizabeth Winstead), an American delivery girl who has moved to Canada
for a fresh perspective. Scott is immediately enamoured, and the two
begin dating, only to learn that in order to truly win Ramonaís heart,
he needs to defeat her seven evil exes.
Wrights rapid, highly stylised directing style is a perfect match for
the material. From the 8-bit Universal Picture intro to the comic book
sound effects, Wright does a highly effective job of bringing the comic
to the big screen. The pace is frenetic, and there is a lot of
information to take in, but itís not overly distracting or gimmicky.
helps that Wright is backed by quite the talented comedic cast. Cera
once again plays a familiar variant on every character he plays, but
this time he gets to be a bit more proactive, and he gets to kick a
whole lot more ass. Winstead is a knock out, and delivers her lines in a
glorious dead pan. Every single one of the exes is entertaining, from
Chris Evans hilarious arrogant film star, to Brandon Routhís vegan mind
reader who isnít above hitting a woman (he is, after all, a rock star).
There is also great support from Kieran Culkin, as Scottís gay roommate
Wallace Wells, Aubrey Plaza as a bitchy acquaintance of Scottís, and
Anna Kendrick as Scottís sister, who has fast become the best thing to
emerge out of the Twilight films.
fights are well choreographed, and chock full of old school video game
references including reversals, extra lives, and the staple of defeated
enemies turning into coins. The soundtrack is also ace, each of the
bandsí music being provided by indie rockers such as Beck and Broken
Social Scene. There are also plenty of loving homageís to films, TV
shows and, of course, video games.
thereís a downside, itís that it is obviously not going to be for
everyone. Some are going to find the fights incredibly silly, while
other will be put off by its schizophrenic look. Instead, Scott
Pilgrim vs. The World is for people that owned 16-bit consoles and
played them til their fingers hurt; itís for the people highly in tune
with popular culture, and itís for all those people that have
experienced young love. Not everybody is going to appreciate a film that
includes the theme music to The Legend of Zelda and sound effects
from Sonic the Hedgehog. But if you read that last sentence and
got excited, Scott Pilgrim cannot come highly recommended enough.