Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) – Film Review

One of my all-time favourite films, my favourite Edgar Wright film, and a film I’d always recommend to any film fan. ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ is a super stylized, incredibly-fun action-comedy, utilizing some great CGI effects along with brilliant editing and writing, I honestly can’t see anyone not enjoying this well-crafted piece of filmmaking.

‘Scott Pilgrim’ is an unemployed twenty-three-year-old gamer in a going-nowhere garage rock band, while dating an underage seventeen-year-old high school girl: ‘Knives Chau’. He comes across the girl of his dreams… that is until he discovers that he must defeat her seven evil exes in order to win her heart.

This over-the-top concept for a narrative is taken from the comic book series of the same name, and provides an insanely fun, hilarious and surprisingly emotional story. Edgar Wright truly directs the film with all his creativity and charm, using the ‘comic book nature’ of the story to its full advantage, with every scene usually containing many visual jokes or comic book like effects, mostly inspired by ‘Scott’s internal love for video games, music and comic books.

Speaking of: ‘Scott Pilgrim’, he is portrayed expertly here by Michael Cera. Always coming off as awkward, funny and charismatic from beginning to end. The rest of the cast are also fantastic however, with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Kyle Culkin, Ellen Wong and Jason Schwartzman all being great within their roles. Truly giving life to their characters, and bringing Edgar Wright’s dialogue to another level. I also personally enjoyed Chris Evans as: ‘Lucas Lee’ (the second evil ex) as he always manages to get an enormous laugh out of me every watch, but this isn’t to say all of the evil exes aren’t given their own distinct personalities and fighting styles.

The cinematography by Bill Pope is very well done throughout the film’s run-time and really backs up the already effective editing. Once again similar to the CGI effects, the cinematography and editing are also used for comedy many times throughout the film. Many techniques like these really help the film feel fresh and really fit with the tone. The film also has the usual bright colour palette to be expected from this director, this also backs up the tone very well and feels reminiscent of the comic book series in a few shots.

Although the original score by Nigel Godrich is heavily overshadowed by a great choice of songs, very similar to Edgar Wright’s other film: ‘Baby Driver’. Every piece of music whether created by the band within the story or not, always seems to fit the scene very well and backs up ‘Scott’s passion for music.

The action scenes are also extremely well-done throughout the film, utilizing stunts very well mixed in with some nice effects. All alongside the interesting locations used throughout the film. The film also does a great job of combining music with the visuals throughout, both within and out of the various action scenes during the runtime.

If I had to give any criticism of this film it would most likely be the reincorporation throughout the story, as some characters/ideas do sometimes appear and then never appear again within the story, can make the film feel a little jolted at times. This along with the pretty quick pacing, the film can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. However, as the story is based on multiple different comic book issues with a similar story structure, I wouldn’t say it’s an enormous problem and can be overlooked.

‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ is the pinnacle of a stylized film in my opinion, making great use of all elements of filmmaking to create a truly incredible experience. Along with the enjoyable story and likeable developed characters, there really isn’t much to dislike about ‘Scott Pilgrim’. Personally, I adore this film to pieces and would always recommend giving it a watch. No doubt in my mind this one is a 9/10, great job Edgar Wright. Keep up the good work.

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