Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is directed by the great and powerful Edgar Wright. The plot surrounds Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), an introverted 23 year old bass player who falls in love with Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winsted). In order to win her heart, Scott must defeat her seven evil exes.
Edgar Wright made sure to deck this movie with a star studded cast. Along with the above two mentioned names, we also have Anna Kendrick who plays Scott’s sister, Kieran Culkin as Scott’s roommate, Brie Larson as Scott’s ex-girlfriend and Chris Evans + Jason Schwartzman who play two of the ex-boyfriends. I really liked that all of the actors in this film took on roles you wouldn’t expect them to take on. Chris Evans for instance plays a chiseled, egotistic Hollywood action hero with a disturbing love for skateboarding. Brendan Routh also makes a brief appearance as a jacked vegan bass player, a role I was pleasantly surprised by. The point is that this movie shows off the range of different voices these actors are able to portray.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is also shot and edited uniquely. It has a ‘video-game’ taste with the way it utilizes on-screen visual cues such as health-bars, animated reward coins and even pixelated numbers to denote the strengths and weaknesses of each of the exes! These elements were a refreshing throwback to some classic 80’s arcade games such as Pac-Man and Street Fighter. There is also plentiful action in this movie (which was surprisingly well choreographed), paying homage to these great games. But at the same time, this film is about love; its about a growing relationship between two teenagers who seem to be at an impasse in their lives. I found the mix between these two elements odd, yet entertaining.
On the flip side, I didn’t like the two leads of the film (Michael Cera & Mary Elizabeth Winsted). Neither of them were charming. Scott Pilgrim was a cheater and Ramona Flowers was unfaithful. I also found the plot to be a touch ludicrous; it felt too disconnected from reality. This was largely due to the fact that the film was edited to look and feel like a video-game, yet it was trying hard (over-trying in my opinion) to be a relatable teenage romantic comedy. Watching this movie, I felt like I wasn’t part of the ‘correct’ demographic.
But in summary, I know there are definitely some of you out there who think of this film as a cult-classic, and I don’t blame you. Edgar Wright puts his stamp on this piece of work through his unique editing, odd but effective visual cues, and nostalgic soundtracks. The cast also do us all a solid by taking up roles outside their comfort zones. The comedy for me was kind of hit or miss but I truly believe there is something in this bizarre film for everyone to emjoy.