MOVIE REVIEW | Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010)


“I know you play mysterious and aloof just to avoid getting hurt. And I know you have reasons for not wanting talk about your past. I want you to know that I don’t care about any of that stuff. Because I’m in lesbians with you.”

The proliferation of geek / nerd culture seems to be only getting bigger. With a super hero movie opening most weeks, and shows like Buffy and Firelfy somehow getting more and more popular the further we get from their long ago demises, a lot of the hype is just that, empty hype. But it has produced a few great things. We never would have got a serious super hero movie like Captain America: The Winter Soldier a decade ago, and we might not have the awesome career of Edgar Wright.

Wright is undoubtedly a great film maker. His movies are more visually exciting than anyone working today, while also having a great knack for comedy. That’s a mix you don’t get often. But he’s also an unapologetic fan boy whose career ascension just so happened to line up perfectly with the ascension of nerds and geeks. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were fresh, comic takes on classic genres, revered by the VHS generation. But where were those nerds when he got his shot at the big, big time, the Hollywood blockbuster, comic book adaptation? Where were those nerds when he made Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, and it tanked at the box office?

The titular Scott (Michael Cera) is a 22 year old Toronto slacker. He’s in a going-nowhere band and has just started dating Knives (Ellen Wong), a 17 year old school girl. He’s lazy, he’s entitled and he’s happy to let the world come to him, while using the excuse of a year old breakup for his lack of motivation.

At a party, he spots Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and is immediately infatuated. After a stalker level pursuit, he secures a date and it turns out, she might like him too. There are two problems. One, he ‘forgets’ to breakup with Knives and ‘forgets’ to tell Ramona he already has a girlfriend. Two, dating Ramona comes with its own obstacle… Or, seven obstacles. Before they can be together, Scott must defeat her seven evil exes.

A combination of living comic book and living video game, I really think Edgar Wright is the only person who could have ever made Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. This is a pop culture obsessed world that needed the hand of a pop culture obsessed director, and Wright delivers. Full of sense memory triggering sights, sounds and allusions to video games, music and general life for anyone coming of age in the 80s or 90s, it’s nostalgia at its best while also embracing the cutting edge of current day film making.

Beyond Cera and Winstead, the supporting troupe of characters is packed with great acting talent. There’s Anna Kendrick as Scott’s disapproving sister, Aubrey Plaza delivering her patented dead panned eye rolls, and a perfectly smarmy Jason Schwartzman as the uber evil ex. And between Chris Evans, Brandon Routh and Thomas Jane, we also get a Human Torch, a Captain America, a Superman and a Punisher, just to add to the nerd boy referencing.

I was going to say Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is depressingly under rated, but I realised that’s not true. Because the people who do see it, generally seem to love it. The truth is, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is depressingly under seen, which sucks. Because between that movie’s under performance at the box office, and Wright’s not so long ago walking away / being fired from Ant-Man, it might be a while before he’s given that sort of budget again.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
Directed By – Edgar Wright
Written By – Edgar Wright, Michael Bacall

6 thoughts on “MOVIE REVIEW | Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010)

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