Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flawless Victory!

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Release: 08.13.10
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 52 minutes

See It, Take a Friend, Buy the DVD!

After a year of heartbreak, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) has finally started dating again. However, his roomie, Wallace (Kieran Culkin, Igby Goes Down) and his band-mates think Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) is just his poor rebound girl and they may be right. While in the midst of 'like' for Knives, a crazy-cute chica rolls out of his dreams and into his reality as Ramona V. Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sky High). Scott is determined to win the heart of Ramona, but her seven evil exes seek to thwart their relationship.

Writer-director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) along with writer Michael Bacall have brought Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life (which I haven't read) to glorious, graphically-influenced life. SPvtW has the usual awkward cadence familiar to Wright's previous films; bouts of wildly fun action balanced with witty discourse that result in a sort of stuttering unevenness that strangely works (kinda like this sentence).

SPvtW works for many reasons, but foremost is Wright's stylish mash-up of video games and movies with a dash of Gilliam and a pinch of sitcom for flavor. Watching this had me thinking, Damn, why didn't I think of something this cool?! It's like Wright watched Uwe Boll's House of the Dead and made posilutely sure SPvtW was the exact opposite. Kudos to Wright on casting Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim; he's awesome. Cera has the lovable slacker, wannabe rocker shtick down cold and works every minute of it in SPvtW. Winstead smolders as Ramona; her vibe instantly conveys why she's the object of affection to so many. Wong is adorably hopeless as Scott's girl.

Even the smaller roles are on point. If you don't know all the actors portraying the evil exes, I won't spoil it, but they all bring a special something to the table (Arrested Development fans will get a huge kick out of one ex in particular). I wish Anna Kendrick (Rocket Science) played a bigger role. While I got a kick out of Aubrey Plaza's (Mystery Team) Julie, she still seems to have trouble being in front of a camera. Clifton Collins, Jr. (Crank: High Voltage) and Thomas Jane (The Punisher) have an absolutely riotous appearance..but I've already said too much. I could spend another two paragraphs praising the cast, but point is they work well.

Dirty Undies
Wright keeps SPvtW fresh by making each of Scott's battles unique. I love a good fight, but if I had to watch Pilgrim clamor through level after level, bruised and beaten, the movie would have gotten stale. Instead, Scott must use both his wits and Street Fighter savvy with each new opponent. Wright cleverly skirts around the severity of Pilgrim's battle-to-the-death scenarios, so squeamish folks need not fret.

Have I mentioned how lovable Cera is as Pilgrim and how lucky he is to score a wicked cute dame like Winstead to be Ramona? Just checking.

The Money Shot
I was as giddy as a schoolgirl from the first time I saw the trailer. Having seen it, I'm ecstatic that my excitement was not misplaced. Despite a few minor quibbles, I will definitely see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World a second time. I'm not sure if I will discover any subtle nuances from multiple viewings, but I'm certain Scott Pilgrim & Co. will deliver the same knockout hilarity every time.

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  1. Haven't seen this but from what I've heard, and your review, I really need to!

  2. I hope you can see it soon and that you'll find it as enjoyable as I did!