UK REVIEW: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World By JoshW
It might have been out in the US for a couple of weeks already but it's only been out in the UK for a few days! Read on for my in-depth and SPOILER FREE review of one of 2010's best comic book movies...
I'm not sure how many of you have read the graphic novels that this movie is based on, but I haven't. So for that reason I won't be able to comment on how faithful Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is to the source material. However, from what I've read in both interviews and other reviews, it sticks very closely to the comics and I for one am now a hell of a lot more interested in checking them out!
I'm not going to bother giving you my own synopsis of the movie. (I'm too scared I'll accidentally break my "Spoiler Free" rule, lol!) After all, I'm sure you've read a fair few of them and seen enough trailers to get the general idea of the plot. And it's pretty straightforward. You can just sit back, relax and enjoy a funny and intelligent story without having to think too much about it. I suppose you could say that's it's a summer blockbuster, but with brains and heart, unlike a lot of the other crap we've so far seen this year. It's fun and a little wacky and there are plenty of laughs to be had as well as the romantic element that thankfully never reaches the point of being too sickly or off-putting for those of you, who like me, aren't fans of romantic comedies. In fact, Scott Pilgrim finds a perfect balance of those two genres as well as the stunning action sequences. (more in those later) While things are a little slow to begin with and it sometimes feels as if they're just filling time between fights, that's probably just down to my impatience to see the next great scene and things never gets boring regardless. What really makes this movie stand out though is the brilliant characters and the fantastic actors who portray them.
I've never been the worlds #1 Michael Cera fan but he gives a superb performance here and helps evolve Scott Pilgrim into a whole other place by the time the credits role. While he's an expert at the nerdy side of things, I was surprised to find that he handled the action and more serious parts of the movie just as well and you can now consider me a fan of the guy. His co-star, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is also great although I was surprised to find that she really didn't have all that much to do here in comparison to the title character. Despite that, you can't fault what was an otherwise flawless performance in which she delivers both the sweet and vulnerable side of Ramona Flowers as well as a pretty bad ass side too! She's a beautiful young actress and surely has a great feature ahead if her...and if that doesn't include the fan favourite role of Mary Jane Watson, then fine. She could probably do better than another love interest anyway! The supporting cast is fantastic. Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, Anna Kendrick and the members of the Sex Bob-Oms' all have fairly minor roles in the grand scheme of things but nevertheless deliver memorable performances and often deliver some of the funniest lines.
Now, who am I forgetting? The seven evil exes of course! I was expecting Chris Evans to steal the show and unsurprisingly he did. As Lucas Lee, he delivered some great lines along with a few of the films funniest moments. Just don't go expecting to see anything that remotely resembles what we'll see from him in Captain America: The First Avenger though! This is a strictly comedic performance and a damned funny one at that. Brandon Routh (Todd Ingram) isn't far behind him though and for anyone who didn't see his performance in Chuck as proof enough that he's a great actor then this will surely change your mind! Not only does he have perfect comedic timing, but Routh makes a surprisingly good villain. I know that the majority of us would like to see him back as the Man of Steel but I for one would love to see him tackle a bad guy just as much now! Jason Schwartzman is given some of the best material to work with in the movie and clearly relishes his role as the villainous Gideon Graves. Thanks to this, you'll end up (loving to) hate his character within moments of meeting him which makes it even more exciting to root for Scott during the latter third of the movie. It's amazing actually just how quickly he switches between being a smarmy bastard, an evil one and in other parts funny! I've not actually seen Schwartzman in anything other than this but will be keeping an eye on what he does in future. Satya Bhabha as Matthew Patel and Mae Whitman as Roxanne "Roxy" Richter both give two very unique and memorable performances while Shota Saito and Keita Saito as Kyle and Ken Katayanagi are largely forgettable apart from the great music that's featured in their fight with Scott Pilgrim.
It's Edgar Wright's direction that deserves the most praise for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World though. The action scenes are amazing. Pretty much every member of the cast deserves a nod for the great work they did in the varied and exciting fights. They're fantastically done and easily surpass both Kick-Ass and Iron Man 2 in terms of how visually stunning they are. The fact that Wright blends these scenes so cleverly with some fantastic music just helps to make them all the more thrilling. Personally, the use of music in a movie is something that has the potential to really alter the experience for me. Whether it's an impressive score by the likes of Hans Zimmer or just great music that perfectly fits a scene, it's important in my opinion. Here, we're treated to a fantastic bunch of original songs and I'm honestly tempted to go and buy the soundtrack. The CGI in Scott Pilgrim is also extremely well done and whether it's the stunning visuals during the aforementioned Sex Bob-Oms scenes, the brilliant references to past video games or when its cleverly used in the fantastic fight scenes it doesn't once falter. Edgar Wright's last two movies, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, were two of the best British movies ever made by he's really out done himself here and proved that he's more than capable of handling a big action packed blockbuster.
After giving films like Iron Man 2 and Kick-Ass 5* reviews, but later realising it should have been more like 4*, I was planning on being a little harsher with Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. But I can't because it deserves top marks all round. If Edgar Wright surpasses himself with his planned Ant-Man movie, then that'll be even more an epic of epic epicness than this was!
Thanks for reading. :)
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