Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Directed by: Edgar Wright Cast: Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman Running Time: 1 hr 53 mins Rating: PG-13 Release Date: August 13, 2010
PLOT: Scott (Cera) falls for a new girl in town named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). What he doesn't realize is that he must do arcade-like battle with each of her seven ex-boyfriends.
WHO'S IT FOR? The younger generation, and those desperate for something different with pep. Plus, if you're a fan of Cera, you'll definitely be happy with this one.
EXPECTATIONS: The buzz on this was pretty good. I loved the concept, love the main actor and love the director. It was my number two on my list for TOP 7 Most Anticipated Movies of the Summer.
Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim: It's the Cera we know and love from films like Superbad and Juno, but there's also a little something different. He's got a cocky aloofness to him this time around that is very addictive. He's more "take charge" than his other roles. It's great to watch him on this journey and after a little misstep with Youth in Revolt he's back on top of my list of young actors. Score: 8
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers: It's impossible not to think of Kate Winslet's Clementine Kruczynski from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. After all, Ramona is the classic indie girl and she changes her hair color whenever she's in the mood. I'm actually surprised the movie didn't reference Clementine at any point. The problem is, since she's the classic indie girl, the film doesn't really give Ramona anything else. She's simply the girl he falls for. We believe in Scott's desire, but there's nothing truly compelling about making sure these two end up together. Score: 6
Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells: We need more Culkin! He's the perfect sarcastic gay roommate sidekick. This Culkin has been my favorite since Igby Goes Down. I don't know why he doesn't get more work, but thankfully he's here as Wallace to point out everyone's shortcomings, and steal boyfriends whenever possible. Score: 9
Ellen Wong as Knives Chau: Knives is the 17-year-old that Scott finds safe to date at the beginning of the movie. He even gets excited about the idea of holding hands. At first I thought Knives was just going to be this amusement to make fun of. I also assumed I would get tired of her and want her out of the picture, just like Scott does. I was wrong. Knives is great. In fact, I ended up rooting for her journey more than Ramona's. Score: 8
Rest of Cast: Jason Schwartzman as the evil Gideon Gordon Graves, Brandon Routh as the vegan Todd Ingram, Chris Evans as the movie star Lucas Lee and Anna Kendrick as Scott's sister Stacey ... they are all great in their supporting roles. But they aren't alone. Scott's bandmates are even better. Alison Pil, who you may remember from Milk and Ben Lewis as the other Scott, steal every moment they are on screen. It's just an amazing cast of characters that support this film. Score: 10
TALKING: The dialogue is very quotable and the attitude delivered with these lines totally works. Score: 8
SIGHTS: The movie starts with Universal's classic logo getting a makeover in Nintendo-like quality. More importantly, all those little conversations are heightened by what feels like the most enjoyable editing I have ever seen. When a doorbell goes off, we see the words "Ding Dong" on the screen. When fights break out, it melds into an old-school video game. These things never get in the way; they just take what would normally be boring moments and enhances. It's truly fantastic. Score: 9
SOUNDS: The band rocks. I can't place one song over the other, because like most indie bands, every song kind of sounds the same. It's a good sound though. "Under My Thumb" by the Rolling Stones gets a moment as well. It's a soundtrack I will definitely download. Score: 8
BEST SCENE: My first impulse is to pick the time when it turns into a "Seinfeld" episode, but instead I'm going with the fight against action star Lucas Less. Evans does a great job in this small role, plus there's a whole movie within a movie vibe that I always enjoy.
ENDING: Here's the issue, after this great ride, I realized I didn't care that much about the ending. In fact, I think I wouldn't have minded if Scott had ended up with someone else. I did love the fact that he was surprised to have to fight another battle, but that ended up being more of a joke.
QUESTIONS: Was I supposed to want Scott to end up with Ramona? Comic book nerds, help!
REWATCHABILITY: In a second. I'd see it in the theater again and will definitely want to add the Blu-ray to my collection.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a step forward in movie entertainment. Most old people who didn't grow up with an Atari, Colecovision, Nintendo or all the things that came after that, simply won't "get" this movie. If only it was based on an actual video game. Then we could finally have "the best movie based on a video game." Alas, It was a comic and director Edgar Wright did a wonderful job bringing it to life.
Even though we realize Scott will make it through the ex-boyfriends (well, they aren't all boys) one by one, the journey is the enjoyment here, not the outcome. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World constantly goes the extra mile to entertainment. When the clinging girlfriend comes to visit, most movies would settle for Scott hiding in the bathroom. Not this one. Scott ducks away, then dives through a window, then sneaks off behind her ... all for the sake of entertainment. And trust me kiddies, you'll be entertained.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10