To be fair, the summer of 2021 will mark the 11th anniversary of Scott Pilgrim VS The World premiere. But for now, this post is a decade long and very overdue look-back at the masterpiece. And yes, the movie is a masterpiece in my book, and of course. I’ve written about plenty of masterpieces before. From Star Wars to Indiana Jones. And everything in between. Even though it was a box-office bomb in the summer of 2010. But, let’s not go there. Let’s focus on the good, rather than the bad. Scott Pilgrim is next folks.
Scott Pilgrim VS The World And My Love For Edgar Wright
Ah, Edgar Wright. How I love you. I suppose a disclaimer is in order before I start writing about his fourth movie. I adore Edgar Wright, his movies and his genius behind the camera. His humor as well, and pretty much everything that has to do with his style. And his movies. So, you can safely assume that I’ll be fan girl-ing hard about him in this post. And I feel no shame or remorse about that. Just a head’s up. I will be singing praises for that man all throughout this post. Granted there are plenty of great YouTube channels that would better articulate my love and respect for Mr. Wright. But I’m here at IndieGala soo…. Bear with me. I will attempt to do the same but in written form. But in a (hopefully) coherent and respectful manner.
However, the motive and inspiration for this post are in fact Scott Pilgrim VS The World. The video game.
What’s Scott Pilgrim VS The World All About?
Developed and published by Ubisoft, Scott Pilgrim VS The World: The Game is a brand new project from the gaming giants. It was published on January 14th of this year, and it’s still on sale here at IndieGala. Hurry up though. That sale isn’t going to last that much longer.
But in essence, it’s a 2D arcade-style beat ’em up game inspired by the iconic comic book series and movie. The Complete Edition includes the original Scott Pilgrim vs. The World™: The Game. As well as its original DLCs, the Knives Chau and Wallace Add-On Packs. Not to mention, it allows you to play your favorite characters. Regardless if it’s Scott Pilgrim. Or Ramona Flowers, Knives Chau, or Stephen Stills.
So, if you’re a fan of the comic book, and the movie of course. Don’t hesitate to check it out. You know what to do.
Staying Faithful To The Original Material
Aside from being a truly visceral experience (more on that later), the true testament of the quality of the movie is the faithfulness to the original material. The comic books series Scott Pilgrim VS The World. Or a total of six digest size volumes that were released from 2004 to 2010. Sure there was some creative license to trim some stuff and omit it overall. And Wright and co-writer Michael Bacall used that in full effect. But, don’t get me wrong. More or less of the important things from the graphic novels are in the movie too. Which is awesome, and a very rare occurrence I might add. In most cases, the writers will water-down or butcher the original material, to the point of being unwatchable. Not here though.
But the base of the movie adaptation revolves around Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera). A slacker and bass player for an indie garage band from Toronto. When he meets the Amazon delivery girl, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) he will fell head over heels for her. But, Scott will also find out about her 7 evil exes. So, in order to date her, he will first have to defeat her 7 evil exes. It won’t be an easy task, but he’ll get the most unlikely help.
Edgar Wright At His Finest?
I would argue that it is. Sure I adore Edgar’s early stuff (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). And I’m a huge fan of his most recent projects. Baby Driver for instance is simply incredible. But Scott Pilgrim VS The World will forever hold a special place in my heart. Not only because it’s a fast-paced, energetic and colorful movie, based on one of the best graphic novels in existence. But also because it’s so meticulously well made, it’s insane. More on that later.
But yeah. The movie contains a cast that will shortly after make ridiculously successful careers in Hollywood. First and foremost, the future Captain America, Chris Evans is there. So is the future Oscar winner, Brie Larson. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is now part of the DC Cinematic Universe, and once upon a time, Brandon Routh was a huge player there. He was Superman for Pete’s sake, albeit not my favorite Superman. Just to be honest about that. Jason Schwartzman, Alison Pill, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza are in it too. Mae Whitman is also part of the cast. But I can’t forget Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells, the room-mate and Scott’s best friend. OK. How incredible is Kieran here? I mean come on. Just brilliant, don’t you agree?.
A Visual Perfection?
I think it is really. Why? Because over here in Scott Pilgrim VS The World, Edgar Wright is unhinged. In a good way of course. Everything is on the table, and he uses every trick at his disposal to get the job done. Indeed, his fast-paced shots and even frantic editing are legendary. And they’re also well used here. But here you will find so many of his trademarks, it’s insane. They’re all done just right, and they all tell the story visually to the fullest.
From slow dolly shots to snap zooms well into the actor’s faces. From slow-motion scenes to frantic cut scenes. The montages and transitions in this movie are on point. So is the use of sub-space, and in a brilliant manner of course. And so incredible are the practical effects in the action scenes too. I mean, sure there’s plenty of CGI in this movie, but they’re there just to enhance the action.
To gloss over it. Not to take away from the magic that’s happening right in front of you. However, the practical effects are effective and beautiful to witness. Scott jumping out of window scene for instance. That’s all practical effect and it’s amazing. Wright’s use of music, visual cues and changing of aspect ratio are incredible in Scott Pilgrim. So are the set pieces and props. They all convey the story and tell it through a very effective cinematic way. See? I told you I would be fan-girling… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Indeed, the movie’s focus is on Scott and his perspective (through story development and even the fight scenes). But the fight scenes are where the fun is. Oh, man. From Bollywood choreography to SWAT-like vegan police and video-game Tekken style of iconography and style. There’s everything here and then some. Extra life, KO’s and flaming swords. It’s awesome!
But even after everything is said about this movie, it’s amazing how I usually find something new and fun with each viewing. It’s because of the frantic Edgar Wright style of course, but at the same time, this is a movie that deserves it. Another viewing. And another. It’s layered, it’s visually pleasing and a fun in general. And it’s the movie I always recommend to every would-be Edgar Wright fan.
Are You A Scott Pilgrim VS The World Fan?
I’m referring to the graphic novels and the movie adaptation of course. Are you a fan of Edgar Wright’s works? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to know about your favorite Edgar Wright movie.
This was the first movie i’ve ever walked out of. Saw it in a totally empty cinema, was just my girlfriend and me in there.
I can see it being a faithful comic book movie but if you are not familiar with the source material you will be totally lost.