Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

Starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, et al
Rated PG-13, 112 minutes

Ooh, graphic novel.

"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," based on a series of graphic novels (ooh), stars Michael Cera as the titular man pitted against the globe. Scott plays bass in a typical young slacker band, and has attracted a 17-year-old girl named Knives (Wong), which brings forth nothing but jokes for the 20-something musician. Reeling from a previous relationship's end that's the cause of his current ladykilling and immaturity, Scott soon becomes transfixed with a recent arrival to town named Ramona Flowers (Winstead). But to truly date her, Scott has to vanquish her seven evil exes.

Whereas a movie like "300" paid slight homage to its graphic background, "Scott Pilgrim" is literally a comic come to life. I wish my phone had "RRRRRRING" coming out of it when I got a call. The styling of the movie is utterly unique.

For products of the Nintendo generation, you've got a visual and aural buffet here. The influence of video games is heavy. Devoted gamers will notice many of their favorite sound effects making audio cameos. The quest to defeat the exes ends up a parody of many great video games. For me, the shift from quirky looking comedy with Michael Cera playing Michael Cera into super fantasy video game land was drastic and unexpected. It comes some ways into the film. The pacing of the each ex's appearance was a little off; the movie started to feel like it was being played off stage with music, fitting in those final ninety thank yous.

Amidst the CGI wonder were some clever jokes and great comic timing, namely from co-star Kieran Culkin.
Nearly all the females caught my eye; I'm a sucker for that "band chick" look I guess.


It's perhaps too bad "Scott Pilgrim" came this far into Michael Cera's filmography. Sure, he's played the same type of character time and time again. But this movie brought a lot of originality to the table in terms of visual style that will be hard to duplicate without looking like a total ripoff. Certainly makes a case for seeing it on the big screen, where its full sensory potential can be realized. I imagine its memorable qualities will hinge upon that, rather than any specific performances or dialogue.

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