A valid disclaimer preceding this article would be that I’m not much of a comic book fan and have no clue of the origins of this movie. Edgar Wright has been immensely ballsy when it comes to being able to reinvent comedy direction. With Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, he boldly turns it up a notch. This is the kind of comedy that threads that fine line between selling out as slapstick humour on one side and being an enigmatic entertainment on the other.
It’s safe to say that this movie falls on the farthest end of the latter.
The story follows our title character played by the promising Michael Cera who honestly seems to literally replay himself in all his roles (which isn’t necessarily bad). He meets Ramona Flowers, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and she just so happens to be the woman of his dreams (Literally!). The movie follows on how Scott has to fight Ramona’s exes to be able to continue dating her.
Now I know that took a turn into becoming a weird plot-line but that absurdity is so necessary to set up a colossally more absurd mode of story telling. This is where Wright wins me with his film. The narrative of the film progresses across different mediums ranging from video games, to comic book cartoons to even an entire scene being done in a sitcom format. You’d think that this incoherency will put you off, but honestly it just gets you to enjoy the movie that much more. Bill Pope, the cinematographer, along with Wright’s vision, executes this contemporary comedic style so seamlessly, that at no point is the narrative being sidestepped.
The comedy works. It’s as simple as that. The jokes are well written (for someone who holds high standards for comedies, I must say that I did laugh out loud, like twice. And that is scoring BIG). Honestly, they might have worked because of being delivered by quiet a talented cast of actors. At the time the movie came out, some of these actors were fairly new to the big screen, and some already with the established promise of carrying on Hollywood’s baton forward. Cera and Winstead were supported by talent like Anna Kendrick, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Allison Pill, Kieran Culkin, and so many many more.
The music was flashy, the screenplay was colourful and overall this movie is a fun ride. At the end of the movie you may even wonder if all of this happens inside Scott Pilgrim’s head, or is he just dreaming or is this all a metaphor of something. Fighting the ghosts of your dream girl’s past, maybe? Or is the illusionary just an artsy way of portraying a wacky saga?
Wright doesn’t bother revealing. In hindsight, he probably doesn’t even care.