Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Review

First things first: Whoever said Scott Pilgrim is Twilight for boys should be shot. Or at least severely beaten. Twilight is a Mary-Sue story about a chick choosing between a dude with weird eyes and an ugly pig-faced one. Scott Pilgrim, meanwhile, is about a dude dealing with his new girlfriend's baggage. No teams, no overwrought drama, just a good old fashioned love story with tons of video game references.

Okay, with that out of the way, let me tell you Scott Pilgrim is one of the finest movies of the summer. It's fun, inventive, true to the source material but unafraid to adapt where it needs to; it's a masterpiece looking for an audience.

I'll be the first to admit that it's a hard sell, and the first twenty minutes don't make it any easier. With the plethora of split screens, on screen graphics, and just general goofiness, the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is unlike any big summer blockbuster before it. However, if you give yourself over to that world and the internal (and sound!) logic of the film, you'll be rewarded with a fantastic story inhabited by amazing characters.

Speaking of, I gotta say I wasn't so hot on the casting choices going into SP, but was blown away coming out. Michael Cera somehow plays a different shade of his typical Michael Cera that's not tired or overplayed and is perfect for Scott. He's loveable, pathetic, dimwitted, but with a good heart exactly what Scott Pilgrim should be. For her part, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is fantastic as Ramona Flowers, but really that's no big surprise. She's more bitchy than she has been in her past roles, but she does it really well, never taking it too far so we don't see what makes her so attractive in the first place. Rounding out the good guys, Allison Pill, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, and Mark Webber seem like they just leaped off the page (although, Mark Webber's Stills seems a bit more indecisive than his literal counterpart).

On the other side, the exes are perfectly cast and performed. My personal favorite was Chris Evans, but I might be a bit biased. Each one of them, and their respective battles were all inventive (especially Scott and Ramona vs. Roxy richter [Mae Whitman]) different and pitch perfect.

When it comes down to it, no one could have done Scott Pilgrim as well as Edgar Wright did. The man deserves a medal for taking a risk on this story and just going full boor with the style of the film. The onscreen graphics, the visual sound effects, the way the scenes blend together, are masterful. I'm glad he takes his time to make his movies great, but dammit, I want more and I want them now.

So hey, if you get a chance this week or this coming weekend, go see Scott Pilgrim, I promise that if you like video games, comics, or just fun allegories about relationships, you'll enjoy this one. While you're at it, tell all your friends to go too. It's not often that a movie with this much originality gets made by a studio and if it were to completely fail (like it did this first weekend) than we might not get any more like it.

Unless you'd rather the cineplex be filled with Twilight knockoffs...

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