Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World - 4.5/5

After watching Edgar Wright's latest odd ball film, "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World", I had to re-evaluate just why any one would ever okay this film to actually be released on a wide scale. This has nothing to do with its quality. Oh no. In fact, "Scott Pilgrim" is damn impressively executed and its stellar blend of visual prowess and heart is something to be commended. It's box office failure is something that can easily be seen when watching the film. "Scott Pilgrim" is one of the most unique blends of American ambition, British timing and wit, and Japanese pop culture references. Yeah, you read that right. Not something the majority of American cinema goers is going to latch onto.

Scott Pilgrim (Cera) is in an odd place with his life. He's 22 with no goal, his band Sex Bob-Omb is desperately trying to make it to the next level, and his girl friend Knives is the joke of the party since she is still in high school and only 17. When he suddenly meets the girl of his dreams Ramona (Winstead), he suddenly finds himself on a path of self discovery. This path also happens to be littered with her 7 Evil Exes which he must face and defeat if he is to stay with Ramona.

Wright is more or less known for his dry and sometimes dumb humor (with particular reference to his spoof films that garnered him his following) so "Scott Pilgrim" is somewhat of a change of pace for him. Focusing more on the visual side of things, this film has a very new and modern feel to it. Luckily, Wright ably handles the blend of his odd timing and quick dry wit with this sleek Japanese visual style (most of which is video game and anime inspired) and it makes the film a complete blast to watch. Words come spraying out of mouths, sound effects ripple across the screen Manga style, and the quick and over the top editing gives the film a practically frantic pacing that all works in its favor. Had it not been for this side of "Scott Pilgrim", than this film would have easily just been your average indie-romantic comedy. Which is completely out of the realm of Blood Brothers.

This leads to the second part of why "Scott Pilgrim" succeeds as well as it does. The heart of the film. Despite my rather distaste for Michael Cera outside of "Arrested Development", his portrayal of the awkward young Pilgrim is spot on and the story really builds on his character arc giving it the depth it needs. Occasionally it does trend onto cliche territory here with his love story, but with its smart writing and quick wit it quickly overturns it and pushes forward.

There really isn't all that much that "Scott Pilgrim" does wrong than perhaps try to be a main stream American film, which it showed it couldn't do. It will find its cult following (it already as shown signs of it with its dedicated fan base and media crossing appeal) and that impresses me already. It's slick. It's fun. And most of all, it pulls off a very daring blend that if you're not in loop, you may not get. Ballsy move and it paid off.

BONUS PRAISE: Yeah, Tom Jane as the Vegan Police. Enough said. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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