Early word of mouth for Edgar Wright’s latest film, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” was high. Yet when it was released to theaters, the $60 million movie bombed, opening in fifth place with a weekend total of only $10 million. It’s unfortunate that more people aren’t going to see the epic experience that is “Scott Pilgrim.”
Scott Pilgrim (Cera) has a lot on his mind. His current girlfriend is an impressionable, 17-year-old high school student, the band he plays in sucks and in order to win the heart of Ramona Flowers (Winstead), the girl of his dreams, he’s going to have to defeat her seven evil exes. However, with each evil ex the stakes are raised, and Scott Pilgrim will find out that fighting for the love of his life may result in the end of it.
Say what you will about Cera and his penchant for being typecast as the gangly and awkward individual, here his performance is delightful and adorable. Yeah, it’s a bit of the same routine we’ve gotten from him before, but he also exudes confidence, sex appeal and a bit of hipster coolness, all in addition to just being a total badass. Winstead’s performance is sweet and sincere. She portrays the character of Ramona as the kind of girl who anyone could fall in love with. I think the most surprising performance, though, comes from Kieran Culkin as Scott’s gay roommate, Wallace. He’s funny and is the sole voice of reason amid the otherwise insane chaos.
Director Edgar Wright has fashioned what is one of the most fast-paced, frenetic and entertaining films of the year. Based on the comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, “Scott Pilgrim” is filled with fun video-game- themed references that will put a smile on your face throughout the entire movie. For instance, the name of Scott Pilgrim’s band is “Sex Bob-omb,” which is an obvious reference to “Super Mario Bros. 2.” In addition to video games, there’s even a use of the theme from “Seinfeld.”
Wright’s superb use of editing is reminiscent not only on comic-book panels but also of his previous film, “Hot Fuzz.” Wright even uses comic-book-like narration to describe the on-screen action. It’s something I can’t say I’ve ever seen before in an adaptation and it works extremely well.
Wright’s adapted screenplay is both smart and clever, with wonderful examples of foreshadowing that impact a giddy or surprising punch toward the end of the film.
It may have been a box office “bob-omb,” but it shouldn’t have been. It’s an incredible and fun film that expresses the awkwardness of youth and lengths we’re willing to go to obtain our heart’s desire.