Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World [2010] marks many firsts for Edgar Wright (director/producer). It’s his first American feature film, his first feature film since Shaun Of The Dead where he hasn’t worked with Simon Pegg, his first comic adaptation (which in this day and age is saying something) and his first film aimed at a teen audience. With so many firsts, one would expect this comedy-action-romance film, in which Scott (Micheal Cera) attempts to prove his love for Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) by defeating her ‘Seven Evil Exes’, to be shaky at the least.

This movie makes me feel like I’m on drugs (not that I do drugs). Saying Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World moves fast may be something of an understatement. Not only are the actions onscreen fast, abrupt and hilariously unrealistic, but the plot and settings move incredibly fast too. For instance, a conversation early in the film takes place in five settings. While this may sound nauseating, confusing and irritating, it’s done in such a discrete and slick way, you may not even notice on your first viewing. It’s like the film is emulating the comic reading experience. There are many more conversations cut like this and at times it veers into being a bit gimmicky. The editing as a whole is stylish and uses many techniques to smooth transitions over, but when nearly all major cuts are done like this it becomes noticeable and distracting.

Comic gold. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a comic book adaptation through and through. Whole shots are panels lifted from the comic book. Even text and onomatopoeia makes it onto the screen. Its effects range from hilarious; to heartbreaking; to informative; to cringe. Like many elements of the film, there is no subtlety to the comic references. While I understand and appreciate the faithfulness to the comic, not everything translates well from the page to the screen. The constraints of the comic medium, however, are transcended in the film. I loved the soundtrack (Ft. Beck, much to Kanye’s dislike) which supplemented the film’s energetic pace and tone.

“Kick her in the balls!” I have always praised The World’s End (Edgar Wright) for combining action and comedy. Many action-comedy films have tense fights and hilarious dialogue. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World has tense and hilarious fights. Peppered with video game references and quips; the fights are hilariously over the top. There are seven major fights in the film, each with their own special dressing (one is Bollywood themed). I absolutely love the fights. They’re clear, fast-paced, clever, dynamic, off the wall and a few other things I’m sure. Not only that, but the fights develop the characters, deal with exposition and moves the plot along really well. Most (mediocre) action films seem to have action just to break up dialogue or just because they feel obligated to do so because of their ‘action’ label. Here the fighting is motivated (despite its ridiculous reasoning) and consistently creative.

High Performance. I couldn’t finish this without mentioning the fantastic comedy and dramatic performances. While many of the supporting characters hit their comedic beats note for note, Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead give standout emotional performances. Not to mention that their comedy performances are top notch too. Michael Cera gives his now perfected, socially awkward teen performance, while Mary Elizabeth Winstead is hilariously deadpan and disinterested.


While I may love this film to bits, it would be dishonest to say it’s perfect.

Watch Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World on iTunes or Amazon