(Review by nerdbastards contributor Nick Bungay– Twitter @NickBungay)
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was thought to be just another toss in the hat of comics and Manga turned live-action film. When it was first revealed to be coming to life, people worried for it’s early demise. In the hands of Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) this was turned into a brilliant mix of comedic timing, heart and nerd references galore. This film is perfect for anyone who’s been into the series or just hearing about one man’s fight for the rocking new chick in town. This film even had an 8-bit opening theme, how sweet is that?
Created originally by Brian Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is like every 22 year old slacker in Toronto. He’s in his own band, perfectly named the “Sex Bob-Omb”, slightly enjoys his life and has a 17 year old girlfriend (envious yet?) It’s perfect, until he encounters Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) literally in his dreams. From there it begins to spiral into love at first sight with hearts and Scott playing guitar. Enter the battle of the bands, which in itself was a hilarious segment of overall film experience. Hearing the music is one thing, when it’s translated into actual spikes and rhythm you can see it gets into a very surreal place.
With first encounter of the Evil Ex’s (did I mention Scott has to battle Ramona’s 7 evil Ex’s to win her heart?) the movie really takes a turn. Long gone are the musicals where people break into song, these people break into fist fights (with a clever “Vs.” placed right between the fighters). The style and splashy-ness of these fights are enough to make your pupils hurt (in a good way). After every video game inspired fight things go straight back to normal, if seeing floating pee bars and 1-up signs are normal. Even defeated foes get turned into cash (Canadian change only). With each ex trying to kill Scott and sully his chance at a co-op action, each fight only gets weirder and more absurd. Yet all this makes for a really entertaining movie.
An outstanding supporting cast of Scott’s friends (Kieran Culkin has fantastic comedic timing) and the evil ex’s, each getting their own pop-up bio. References are everywhere from co-op gaming, Zelda, and freaking Seinfeld, it’s every nerd’s wet dream. The films does however, have a few stitches in it’s side that could have been better. With a slight overuse of split screen dialogue, it takes slight focus away from the viewing experience. The evil ex’s and Scott’s friends could have been expanded upon a bit more or stretched out during fights. As well as Knives (Scott’s g/f at start of film) twist into an evil personality should have been exploited just a little longer. This film still manages to keep everyone at attention, those with time to spend inside should check this out.
Scott Pilgrim is the result of taking one mans idea, tossing in some 8-bit love, taking just under 2 hours to wow a crowed and resulting in one of the most original film’s of the summer. This movie has potential for a possible sequel if warranted. While it does have a few faults here and there it’s a movie for all ages, young and old (though the films tone and sensibilities might be too outlandish for the conventional movie-goer). Edgar Wright performed his duties to the letter and created a perfect blend (it’s actually amazing how many panels and dialogue from the comic were copied exactly) If giving this movie an 8.5 outta 10 is wrong then I need to put in another quarter and hit continue.