Movie Review: "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"

 

Photo Credit: Kerry Hayes – © 2010 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Overshadowed by veins and the latest Julia Roberts’ love fest, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” snuck into the weekend. A shame, but it helped the feeling that, though the theatre was filled around me, I was discovering something on my own, and exploring something about myself; that’s where this film shines.

Edgar Wright’s first film since “Hot Fuzz” (2007), Wright finally makes the indelible impression that he’s here to stay. Demonstrating a capable and straightforward directing style in previous efforts, here he takes his skills and tackles something new, of which many could say: “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) lives in a video game world, though it may not be fun to live in, it’s awesome to watch. Demonstrated from the get go, the specific moment which kicks the film off is small, but I can’t spoil it. That said, if you have any sense of history and video games you’ll love it.

Recovering from a series of break-ups, Scott has begun dating the hyper-kinetic Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). Despite himself (and the gem of a performance from Miss Wong), he quickly discovers a much more mysterious, and much more baggage riddled girl, in the form of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). He soon drops everything in the cause of this new pursuit.

Enter the league of the seven evil exes, a league of former exes, not just boyfriends, and organized by the ultimate bad guy ex, the brilliantly cast Jason Schwartzman, who will stop at nothing to keep Ramona away from Scott Pilgrim.

The fights are a joy to watch.

It’s a shame that the film almost becomes overwhelmed with its own cleverness. Sometimes the film's desperation to move in new, innovative ways from scene to scene stops the emotion dead. It’s hard to connect with the characters because you’re never left alone with them for long before being zipped away once more at an ever desperate pace. It’s a testament to the talent involved that the film still manages to rein itself in.

Asking a subtle and complex question, the film ponders: do we stay with that someone who gets us, or do we take that chance with someone else, someone a bit more desperate, a bit more layered, and a lot more unknown. Which one is worth fighting for?

What: "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, and an otherwise wonderful supporting cast.

Rated: PG-13, for lots of blood-free, video game inspired violence

Should you go? Yup.