Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman
Plot: Scott Pilgrim is just your average slacker. He’s in a band, he’s got a seventeen-year-old girlfriend, struggling to let go of his ex-girlfriend, and he lives with his gay roommate, Wallace. Aspiring for more in life, Scott ends up falling for Ramona Flowers, a sullen delivery woman for Amazon. When Scott decides to dump his jailbait girlfriend and go out with Ramona, Scott his challenged by Ramona’s seven Evil Exes. And in order to win the girl, Scott must defeat these Evil Exes in battle.
(Warning! This review contains spoilers. Consider yourselves warned)
First Thoughts: Ah, Scott Pilgrim. The film that introduced me to Edgar Wright’s signature directing style and made me fall in love with it. Bit of a backstory on this film first. It was back in 2012 when I came across the Blu-ray of this at Best Buy. Having seen the trailer two years previously and thinking that it looked awesome, I picked it up. And honestly, if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t be doing these reviews of Edgar Wright’s films leading up to Baby Driver. I mean, this movie is a nerd’s wet dream. Everything about this movie screams nerdiness, and that is one of the primary reasons I love this film so much. And now, it’s time for me to gush about this film.
Story: While the awesome action seen in the trailers is prevalent throughout the film, it’s not really the focus here. The main focus is really the love story between Scott and Ramona, as well as relationships in general, and while that sounds really boring, it’s done in a very Edgar Wright fashion in which everything is bursting with energy, and not just with his direction, but in the writing as well. From Scott and Ramona’s relationship to Scott’s backstory with a girl named Envy who dumped him to Ramona’s very checkered past, everything about the story in this film is brimming with energy and humor. And oh yeah, this movie is absolutely hilarious. There’s a lot of nerd humor in the film, which you may need the trivia track to fully understand, but the action scenes in the film can also be fairly hilarious. And I also really loved what they did with the end of the film where Gideon (Ramona’s 7th evil ex) kills Scott and he ends up in this desert purgatory that is also seen in an early scene in the film, and then he realizes he picked up that 1-up during the battle with the Katianagi twins and is then brought back to the moment when he’s about to go fight Gideon and he has a lot more confidence and self-respect than the first time. And in regards to the ending, I actually do prefer it when Scott and Ramona stay with each other, rather than Scott and Knives getting back together (the alternate ending), because that ending just felt like a betrayal of what Scott was doing throughout the entire film. But that’s just me. I know there are some people who prefer the original ending.
Technical: Of course, since this is an Edgar Wright movie, his signature directing and editing style is all over this movie. From the Universal logo at the beginning being pixellated to look like an SNES game to the opening credits to all of the fights, everything about this movie looks beautiful. This marked the first collaboration between Edgar Wright and cinematographer Bill Pope, who previously worked on The Martix and Spider-Man 2 and would later collaborate with Wright on The Worlds End and Baby Driver, and they both really know how to film a fight scene. Although the action in the film is very stylized, it all looks incredible. The film also knows how to time the action with music, which is shown extremely well during the fight with the Katianagi twins. I could probably go on about the action forever, but all I’ll say is that if you hate shakycam and choppy editing, the action scenes in this movie will be a breath of fresh air to you. The stunts are also incredible, and it’s actually kind of mindblowing that an actor like Michael Cera was cast as the lead character, because I went back and watched it and realized just then that he’s a super unlikely action star.
Performances: Speaking of which, Michael Cera is actually really fantastic in this film. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of him as an actor, he really embodies Scott’s awkwardness and he’s surprisingly really terrific in the action scenes and from what I could tell, that actually is him doing all of those insane stunts. This is also the film that really introduced me to Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who has since become a personal favourite of mine thanks to this film and 10 Cloverfield Lane. She’s also really great and her and Michael Cera have such good chemistry. All of the villains are also really good, from Chris Evans as a really over-the-top, full of himself actor, Brandon Routh (who you pretty much never see anymore) as a vegan rock star with psychic powers and especially Jason Schwartzman as Gideon, who is just the biggest douche in the whole universe, all of them are spectacular in this film! This was also somewhat my introduction to Brie Larson, who is really impressive in this movie because not only does she actually sing in a scene in this movie, but she’s also a stone-cold bitch in this movie as Scott’s ex-girlfriend, who’s also in a band, although her’s is much more successful than Scott’s. It’s kind of weird going back and watching this film after seeing her most recent works like Kong: Skull Island and Free Fire, because it’s almost like she was a completely different person in this film, and that is praise for how much range she has as an actress.
Final Thoughts: If it wasn’t apparent already, Scott Pilgrim vs the World is one of my favourite movies of all time. And even though I am a fan of Edgar Wright’s other films, this might be my favourite of his. Everything about this movie is a nerd’s dream come true, from all the nerdy references to the kick ass action sequences to all of the performances, everything in Scott Pilgrim comes together so perfectly that I cannot help but say that it is one of the best action comedies ever made. If you haven’t seen it already… what the hell are you doing reading this review when I explicitly wrote that there would be spoilers? In any case, if you haven’t seen it in a while, maybe it’s time to give it another whirl.
- Edgar Wright’s direction
- The performances
- The action sequences
- The chemistry between Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead
- Nerd humor
Overall Grade: 10/10
So guys, look forward to my review of The Worlds End coming out in a couple of weeks, as well as my review of Baby Driver when that comes out. Quick thing though, the same day that Baby Driver comes out is also the day of my graduation rehearsal and the next day is my actual graduation, and the day after that I’m going on a vacation, so that review might come out a week or two late. In any case, please look forward to those reviews, as well as my Christopher Nolan reviews.