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Review: Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Scott Pilgrim vs the World was probably my favorite movie of the summer. There I said it. To not see Scott Pilgrim would be to rob you of something special, a fun, entertaining, exciting, excellent film that is the epitome of a summer movie.

The project itself was a perfect storm for a movie. The much loved source material, the graphic novel from Bryan Lee O’Malley, the talent behind the camera, Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), and a great cast. From my understanding, the film was so close to the source material, they even shot at locations that O’Malley drew from life for the graphic novel.

The film begins in Toronto, 22 year old Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is dating a high schooler named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), and playing in his band Sex Bob-omb (a reference to Super Mario). The band is practicing to compete in a battle of the bands. It isn’t until Scott meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), when things begin to get a bit interesting, as during their first performance for the battle of the bands, Scott suddenly has to fight the first of Ramona’s seven evil exes.

The film is a plethora of video game and popculture references, from Seinfeld to The Legend of Zelda. You literally have a smile on your face the entire time, this IS the ultimate nerd movie. Michael Cera, our hero. My worry for Cera is that he is going to continue to play the awkward teenager, but there is a variation here. Scott Pilgrim is kind of a jerk, he’s leading Knives on, while starting a new relationship with Ramona. It’s a good twist on Cera’s usual “character.”

The supporting cast is great, Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) plays Scott’s sister, and Jason Schwartzman (as the final evil ex) is a delight.

The visual effects work here is stunning, and the fight scenes call out to the anime the sequences are inspired from. The fight scenes are actually quite excellent, not that Michael Cera has a future as the next Van Damme, but he carries himself well.

So in short, Scott Pilgrim has my vote for one of the best movies of the summer, do yourself a favor, see this movie this labor day weekend, before or after you see Machete.

5 thoughts on “Review: Scott Pilgrim vs the World

  1. I wholeheartedly agree that this was a great, fun, summer movie. It’s kinetic like a video game and Cera definitely expanded from the standard Michael Cera character. Well, in the sense that he was awkward in a different way. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the Zelda references.

    Question: Why do you think this failed to find an audience? Michael Cera overload? Mis-marketing? I think at this point Edgar Wright has built up an audience and proved himself with each of his offerings that at least those people (whom, let’s face it, this movie was tailor-made for) would be in line to see the film. It’s alarming that 3 weeks after its release, it’s pretty much out of the theaters save for maybe one late-night screening.

  2. I blame marketing, save for the geeks out there, the general public just didn’t understand what this movie was, and why they should see it. I don’t think Michael Cera has gone “Seth Rogen” on us yet, he’s getting close, but I think this movie suffered from just being something hard to market. Because, it’s not like they made any mistakes in the way they tried to sell it, its just, they told you as much as they could, and it just wasn’t enough to fill the theaters, and word of mouth only carried it so far. It’s a shame, but I expect a lasting shelf-life on home video a la ‘Office Space’ (I HOPE).

  3. But even then, it didn’t even seem like the geeks were out in full force to see this movie. I mean, $10.5 million on its opening weekend isn’t that impressive, especially given the pre-release praise it received from most critics. The movie seemed like it was destined to be number 1 or 2 in the box office. Maybe we were all at The Expendables?

    Perhaps moviegoers are worn out from a incredibly lackluster summer or we’re tired of hearing about comic book adaptations. I almost feel apologetic when someone asks me what the movie is and any of my go to answers (a. a comic book adaptation, b. a Michael Cera movie, or c. a video game movie) are immediately followed up with, “But it’s good!”

    Truth be told, for me, the above is probably why I opted for The Expendables first and probably why Inception is still my vote for best movie of the summer.

  4. Question: Why do you think this failed to find an audience?

    Why? Simply because it was horrible! And it should never be mentioned in the same breath as Office Space. Never!

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