23 August 2010

Review: "Scott Pilgrim vs the World"

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is an adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim. The film is visually spectacular and director Edgar Wright is able to wonderfully combine comic book elements with a feature film. There are moments when the graphics on screen come and go so quickly that it made my head spin. Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a film unlike any other and it may take a few scenes to adjust to its pace. Michael Cera is still incredibly adept at playing the quirky but lovable loner that made him famous on Arrested Development and this serves him well in the title role but I do hope he can evolve into some more mature rolls. Some of the film's best roles are filled by some of Hollywood's rising stars who have made names for themselves on film and television: Anna Kendrick (Oscar-nominated for Up in the Air), Allison Pill (In Treatment), Brie Larson (United States of Tara), Mae Whitman (Arrested Development) and Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation). There is a tremendous amount of material to cover in under two hours and Edgar Wright, as director and screenwriter, is able to control the quick pace without sacrificing character development. Scott Pilgrim vs the World is inventive and unique with an extremely talented young cast and I can only hope the fantastic visuals play as well on DVD as they do at the cinema.

Scott Pilgrim is twenty-three and in between jobs. He is the bass guitarist for the band Sex-Bob-Omb, made up of friends from high school and his one-time girlfriend Kim (Pill). His friends are not very supportive when he begins dating a seventeen year old high school girl named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Scott soon meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and they start dating and he begins losing interest in Knives. While Sex-Bob-Omb is competing at a battle of the bands to win a record contract Scott is attacked by Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha), Ramona's first ex. Scott learns that in order to date Ramona he will have to defeat all seven members of the League of Exes. The members of The League of Evil Exes are played by Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman. Shouta and Keita Saito, and Jason Schwartzman. Scott must also deal with his gay roommate Wallace (Kieran Culkin) and their extreme lack of privacy, his judgmental-but-supportive sister Stacey (Kendrick) and his now world famous ex-girlfriend Natalie (Larson).

Scott Pilgrim vs the World puts a new twist on a love story and gives the genre a fresh perspective. It is often very difficult to balance a large cast without making character involvement seem haphazard. The original graphic novel spans six volumes and the film adaption condenses the story into one film. I have not read the original but I feel like the film did a great job pacing the story and the action. The film also did not go overboard with the comic book visuals and there was only one scene near the end of the film where I felt the graphics on screen could have been crisper. I do not think that another actor could have done a better job than Michael Cera but at the end of the day the other characters are more memorable. I am just ready for him to grow up. Scott Pilgrim vs the World has given moviegoers a fantastic new approach to filmmaking and I sincerely hope that it is a film more fondly remembered than forgotten.

My rating: 3 stars out of 4.

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