Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Review

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Review
Tags: , , , ,

I made this review as a tester for I thought I’d post it up here too. I’m probably not going to be doing this sort of this again as it took far too long and I prefer writing to narrating.

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World Review

Music doesn’t work in comics. Music-based plotlines don’t work in films. Games don’t work in comics. Games don’t work in films. Straight comic adaptations don’t work in films. With that in mind, quite how Scott Pilgrim Vs The World manages to be anything other than complete rubbish in both film and comic form is nothing short of mind-blowing.

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a twenty-something loser with a girlfriend who’s still in school, playing bass in a band that nobody cares about and sharing a mattress with a gay roommate. His boring, albeit peaceful, life is shattered one day when he dreams of and meets Ramona Flowers (who happens to look a lot like Mary Elisabeth Winstead) and begins stalking her. Upon falling head over heels in love with her, he then discovers that they can’t be together until he defeats her seven evil exes.

It’s a concept that’s completely bonkers, which plays perfectly into the hands of director Edgar Wright who has demonstrated an understanding of insanity throughout his entire career, with films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and TV’s peerless Spaced under his belt. His passion for the source material and his love of videogame culture seep through every single frame of the film and add to the richness of the movie. It’s possibly the closest films have ever come to feeling like games, which is saying something considering how awful ninety-nine percent of all videogame movies are.

Classic songs from games of yesteryear sweep effortlessly through the film’s soundtrack, while arcade-style pixellated graphics and game scenarios are toyed with so easily you could be forgiven for accidentally trying to grab a controller.

The action crackles along with a fierce intensity that rivals most proper explosion-and-bullet movies, building in ferocity and silliness with each passing battle. Defeated enemies explode into coins and everyone in the film possesses ridiculous weapons and martial arts moves.

The cast are completely brilliant in their po-faced delivery of every line of dialogue, with great jokes, visual gags and references to classic games thrown together with incredible speed. Everything flows forward with the kind of hyperactive energy that only a person brought up on gaming could really be able to follow without getting totally lost. In fact, it’s so stylish that Zack Snyder is probably watching it crying into a semen-soaked sock.

The comic styling is wonderful throughout, managing to feel like an animated graphic novel without being soulless. The feeling that Scott Pilgrim inhabits that strange twilight zone between gaming and reality feels genuine, despite the amount of CGI on display. The film manages to bounce from one insane idea to the next with no slowdown and no need for silly explanations. One minute Chris Evans – no, not that one – is depicted as an egotistical skateboarding filmstar, the next Brandon Routh has superpowers thanks to a vegan diet. It’s tough to think of any film within the last five years that’s managed to chuck all these crazy ideas around and still made it work. This is the film that proves games can be transferred properly to the big screen, and not end up accidentally hilarious or soul-destroyingly awful. The trick is to not base it on an actual game.

If there is a problem to be had with this near-flawless film, it’s surely the age rating. Nobody under the age of twenty will understand it, which is one of the requirements. You have to be nostalgic for the theme tunes of Zelda and Final Fantasy, else you just won’t appreciate it. Scott Pilgrim is made purely for twenty-something gamers who want their own crazy adventure and are as hyperactive as the protagonist. If you understand geek culture, you’ll love Scott Pilgrim. If not, go out and play sports, you massive fanny.

5 stars.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s