Saturday, August 14, 2010
SUMMER FUN: SCOTT PILGRIM REVIEW
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (B+)
This is a movie probably unlike any other you have seen in your lifetime. It is a combination of many forms of entertainment in our culture, seamlessly combining film, music, video games, and comic book elements. This was my second most anticipated late summer movie (after Inception), and it measured up to all my expectations. Not expecting a high dose of comedy, I was surprised to laugh as much as I did throughout this movie. Many of the laughs weren't blatant like the Will Ferrell brand, but a quieter and less dramatic form of comedy. This contribution to the overall product was something that I thought boosted this film's already high value.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World stars Michael Cera playing his typical unsure, confidence lacking, nerdy character. Or does he? Initially Scott Pilgrim appears to be a reprise of Cera's character from Superbad (and every other role), but as the movie progresses he grows stronger in his resolve to defeat the seven evil exes of woman of his dreams, Romona. The details on why the exes all align against Scott is pretty well defined. This made the narrative easier to understand and rallies the viewer to Pilgrim's cause for victory and rightful claim to his dream girl's heart. Having all the angles explained may not be of the utmost importance in a film like this, but it is nice to have some understanding on why these throw downs are taking place.
I found it interesting to see the supporting cast members dutifully watching these battles between Pilgrim and the exes like it was just part of their regular lives. It helped the viewer mimic the characters and become entranced by the unfolding action. The battles between these adversaries was some of the most fun I have had experiencing action in a movie. It was not only well choreographed and exhilarating to watch, but entertaining with all the video game like additions to the scenes. Any gamer will be lost in pure enjoyment during these sequences.
The people involved with the creation of this project are another plus that make it a must see on your summer movie list. Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) co-wrote and directed the project giving it his own comedic touch of greatness. His use of visuals were beneficial to the story and unique in almost every way. Un-touched shots were a rarity in this film as many of the visuals featured plenty of computer assisted graphics. Sometimes this type of addition was a little overwhelming, but for the most part it was complimentary.
The only rip I have on the Wright/Michael Bacall screenplay is the relationship between Scott and Romana. The two jump into the relationship so fast that you don't really feel the reason for their connection besides what we are told, she is the girl of Scott's dreams. No real emotion seems to resonate between the two until later in the movie when I felt it should have also been heavy in the beginning. Scott awkwardly gets Romona's attention and then later makes an ass of himself; but with the snap of a finger he is on a date with her. Soon after he is risking his life for her. I really wanted some more buildup to this relationship so I was 100% on board for Scott's plight to defeat the exes. Don't tell me these two have a connection, show me. Their chemistry had some question marks, but not to the point where you can't buy into their story.
The editing for the large part was well done as it embraced comic book split screen shots and unfurling sequences featuring written words of the action taking place. With the type of fast paced editing employed in this movie, some scenes spliced together translated to confusion early on as it takes the viewer some time to get used to the unconventional abrupt scene changes. The flashing lights, gimmicks, and especially hyper paced cutting make this movie one that can only be truly appreciated by those who enjoy the music video look and a video game feel.
The cast was also a treat to behold. I always get a kick out of watching Jason Schwartzman in any role he fills, and in this movie he plays a huge part as the most difficult ex of Romona. The cast also boasts Anna Kendrick, Chris Evans, Kieran Culkin, Brandon Routh, Alison Pill, and the endearing Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Live Free Die Hard) as Ramona. Lastly, and very importantly, I wanted to praise the awesome original music featured in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The music rocking from Scott and his band Sex Bob-omb was so great I already bought the soundtrack for the movie and have it looped on my play list. Every time music was featured in this movie it was fitting and induced foot tapping to the catchy beats.
Overall, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is definitely in the top five movies I have seen this summer. The fun starts early with the production logo of Universal Pictures being flashed like an old Sega game. The party rolls on as this funny movie is full of unique action and amusing animations, features likable characters, and has a clear established purpose for the story. The editing may be confusing at times and bombards the viewer with lightning cuts paced like an ADD child's attention span, but it rarely felt overbearing. The two lead characters aren't developed as much as I thought necessary for this movie being about these two literally fighting to be together, but great premise though. I had a blast at the theater full of people, and recommend you give this film the box office receipts it deserves.
After seeing the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, if you wanted to get a closer look at all those movie posters for the star character Lucas Lee, click here. Check out the taglines in the posters, they are so hilarious.
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