A year after being dumped by his girlfriend 22 year-old Scott Pilgrim (MichaelCera) is dating a “high-schooler” (Ellen Wong), he is unemployed, he shares a small studio apartment (and bed) with a gay friend (Kieran Culkin) and to top it all off Sex Bob-omb, the band he plays in suck! Then he meats the girl of his dreams Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the only problem she comes with baggage namely seven evil exes who all want to fight our hapless hero.
Depending on your point of view Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is either the coolest movie of the year or a flashy over edited mess that is trying too hard. Although I don’t subscribe to either point of view I am leaning more towards very cool. The movie sets its stall out from the start with the Universal logo being depicted in in the style on an 80’s video game with oversized pixels and matching monotone music.
The action takes place in a comic book/video game world complete with descriptive bubbles appearing on the screen and people being turned into coins as they are defeated, The editing is frantic and the story often jumps forward randomly (just like a video game). This unusual style is possibly what has alienated audiences resulting in poor box office returns in America. That’s a shame as it is a real “cinema experience” movie with the (packed) audience when I saw it cheering and even applauding as well as laughing through the movie.
The casting is brilliant: Michael Cera’s Scott Pilgrim is only two steps remove from Nick (from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and develops from a vacuous self centred arse into an almost likable guy. Cera’s biggest drawback is that he lacks range and can only play a version of himself, he gets away with it in this movie but I’m not sure how many more time he can get away with it; Mary Elizabeth Winstead is perfect as Ramona Flowers , she is too hot and too trendy to be interested in Scott Pilgrim but that’s half the point of the movie; Ellen Wong is impossibly cute as the seventeen year old “high-schooler” Knives Chau (at 26 she is actually four years older than Cera); Chris Evans, Brandon (Superman) Routh and Jason Schwartzman are the standouts of the evil exes; From the rest of the cast, Anna Kendrick is brilliant as ever as Scott’s sister, as is Kieran Culkin as his gay roommate but the best casting of the entire movie goes to Alison Pill as Kim, one of Scott’s exes and the drummer in their band.One of the best things about Shaun of the Dead was that it was zombie movie that knew it was a zombie movie filled with characters that had seen zombie movies. The same could be said of Scott Pilgrim and video games and comic books. This is what makes the setting of the movie ambiguous. It is set in either an alternative universe that really does play out like a computer game or its all in Scott Pilgrim’s egotistical head? It really doesn’t matter either way and if anything the movie is better for the ambiguity.
Just a little too quirky and as mentioned above it tries a little too hard this prevents it from being truly great. All this isn’t important when watching the movie as it is truly hilarious and real fun.
Four Stars out of Five