Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Reviews
It's strange how consistently well-paced it manages to remain throughout, while also being THE fastest movie around. Edgar Wright's signature editing style is heavily prominent here, blending shots into scenes into chapters into acts into one single fluidly flowing product. Yet it still takes its time to develop relationships and guide us through the more personal moments of these characters' lives. This is the poster child of intricately editing films.
Speaking of the characters, everyone is perfectly cast. There's not a single actor out of place as their comic counterpart. Michael Cera does seem a bit more gawky as Scott Pilgrim than I read the character in the books, but didn't see that as an issue. If anything it made it more interesting to watch the character through all his stutters and awkward glances. And wholy moly, I have to mention how funny Jason Schwartzman is as Gideon. The character is a total jerk, but I loved it whenever he was on screen. There's something so innocent in his immoral behavior. Phenomenal job.
The humor in this film feels quite a lot more American than the humor in the Cornetto trilogy, meaning it revolves more around absurd situations than silly and witty dialogue, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It fits in more with the reference material, as well as the subject matter. It's tough to tell when the script ended and the editing started, in terms of the storytelling, but however it was done, I loved it.
The cinematography and stylized effects are great. No other movies look like this one. It's part video game and part comic book, and all uniquely atmospheric. The score and soundtrack also play a big part in creating the atmosphere. For a non-musical there's a lot of music, both as ambience and as sounds that characters are physically making. There's probably six or seven music performances, and all of them are accompanied by crazy visuals. Again, very unique.
I love all of Edgar Wright's work, but "Scott Pilgrim" is my favorite. I don't know if it's relatable or amusingly isolating or what, but there's something about it that I really connect with. I do wish it were a bit longer, so some of the left out material from the comics could be included, but I understand why cuts were made. And in a world with an abundance of comic book movies that hardly resemble comic books at all, I entirely appreciate that films like this exist.
The film sets itself up to be a romantic comedy right from the start, and remains that way throughout the film, albeit transitioning into more of a comedy/action/romance film shortly after it opens, paralleling the graphic novels. It's an almost jarring change between genres, but considering how funny it is of a change, it adds to film's excellence, I guess, you know?
The film does its source material great justice, translating the characters to screen very nicely. The romance between the leads, Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, transcends it's paper-based counterpart, really adding to the films greatness.
Oh yeah, it's also like a video game.
It could of course be a worry though that with this level of madness, the film could potentially leave many disgusted or disengaged, but Wright not only counteracts that with his usual snappy whit and humility, but he also does so with genuinely human characters that you care about thanks to their foundations in more genuine human territories. In fact, the sheer manor in which you're so engaged is frankly breathtaking here when you consider what Wright is actually doing, and in the end this masterpiece ends up not only a brilliant comedy, but also an equally brilliant character drama with some great things to say.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It does loose some of its snappy intelligence towards the end as it descends into sheer madness, but at least you're unequivocally on board by then.
VERDICT: Wright's most human, quirky and down-right engaging movie proves that anything can be put to film if you do it right.
Entertaining, funny and extravagant, "Scott Pilgrim" is the perfect adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, with a cinematic difficult to overcome in this area.
REWATCH NOTES: Even better in the second watch. Loved every bit of it. Even Jason Schwartzman.