Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Movie Review
When it comes to Scott Pilgrim, I think it's safe to say that me and he have an interesting history. You see, I wasn't exactly the biggest fan of the books when I first attempted to read them. The styling of the characters wasn't my favorite artistically, the characters kinda bugged me, and it just wasn't that great. I tried to get into it, failed, tried again, read books one and half of two, and then put it down for a couple months. Then I cam back to it and learned the error of my ways. The book was an onslaught of awesome action and laughs and I couldn't get enough. I read them all, went to the midnight release of book 6 and read it before I even got home. It's safe to say this movie had high standards for me, and I am pleased as punch to say that Scott Pilgrim is indeed rated awesome.
In a nutshell, Scott Pilgrim in the movie is a 22 year old slacker, with no job, no money, and is totally dependent on those around him. As the movie's opening tells us, Scott Pilgrim is now dating a 17 year old Chinese girl named Knives Chau. He's very happy, up until he has a bizarre dream of a girl rollerblading through his head. When he sees her in real life, he becomes obsessed, meets her, goes on a date with her, and eventually they end up in a relationship. However! In order for them to maintain that relationship, Scott has to fight her Seven Evil Ex's and defeat them to win her heart. In order to avoid spoiling, I'll leave it at that, but let's just say that he's got an uphill battle ahead to keep the girl.
First, cast. In the title role is Michael Cera. Now, when I first heard this casting, I wasn't exactly thrilled. I'm not one of those people who hates Scott Pilgrim, in fact I like him a lot. However he wasn't Scott Pilgrim to me. Well, after seeing the trailer I gained some faith in him and after seeing the movie let's just say he's more than capable. This is Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, unlike his other roles where he merely played himself. He shows a lot of growth and range in this movie, more so than anything else I've seen of him. Next up is Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers. Perfect casting my book, she manages to perfectly capture the character both physically and emotionally, truly coming across as mysterious and afraid of her past, more than she even does in the comics. Though I like the Ramona character, one problem I have with the books is that the reason for why he is so head over heels was never apparent enough. Luckily that's not an issue in the movie. Stephen Stills played by Mark Webber was also good, coming across as much less laid back than he seems in the comic but more high strung and as a result funnier because of the ongoing battle of the bands tournament throughout the movie. Alison Pill does a good job of being bored as Kim Pine, exactly as she should be. While her role in the movie was smaller than I would have liked, she was quite good. On the other side, Ellen Wong as Knives Chau was a bit disappointing. They expanded her role and changed her and Scott's relationship a little, and it worked well, but you didn't quite get the same crazy vibe as in the comic. Granted, I'm nitpicking because she was totally crazy in many parts and worked really well. Scene stealer though, Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells. He was pitch perfect, very fun, very drunk, very gay, and every time he'd pop in with a quick one-liner for a fight it was hilarious.
Story wise, it's fantastic. Edgar Wright worked closely with Bryan Lee O'Malley and it shows. The movie is incredibly true to the comic in tone, yet it takes it's own path and deviates in a way that works to it's benefit. In terms of accuracy to source material, I would compare it possibly to Kick-Ass, which also took it's own path while following many of the same beats. However, where Kick-Ass got a bit ridiculous and didn't keep the same tone as the comic at certain parts, Scott Pilgrim certainly does, and even with some of the more substantial changes, like Nega Scott (I've said too much), it's done in a way that you feel like you got an entirely new experience with the same friend.
Overall, this movie is just short of perfect. The only things that bugged me about it were the following:
- The length of Scott and Ramona's relationship is kind of hard to determine. The books made it clear with the change of seasons and Ramona's gradually growing hair, but it's not clear here
- Crash and the Boys get cut down a lot, and don't pop in when Scott fights Ingram. Sorry to spoil that bit. But yes to Vegan Police
- Kim's role got cut down a lot. You don't get really any mention of her and Scott dating and their friendship isn't as close as the books
- Ramona only has 3 hairdos. Didn't bug me that much really, just felt like saying it (Though a couple more would have been cool)
Side note: Vegan scene's are awesome. Brandon Routh needs a medal or something for his portrayal of Todd Ingram.