Scott Pilgrim is an unemployed and single 22 year-old Toronto native. To allay his year-long dumpee depression, he dates a lithe high-schooler named Knives Chau (a sprightly and highly entertaining Ellen Wong). Though his Sex Bob-omb bandmates disapprove and his gay roommate Wallace is apathetic, they needn’t worry for long, as Scott is quickly distracted by the girl of his dreams: a candy-haired American by the name of Ramona Flowers. The cool new kid in town, Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is aloof but receptive, and she and Scott soon begin dating.
Surely we all know what happens next.
With the sustained frenetic energy of its trailers and the artistic touch of director Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim vs the World is quick, colourful, and delightfully entertaining. With all the trappings of a graphic novel adaptation, it deftly whips from panel-to-panel with a practiced gaze.
Despite mutterings that it’s, “not as good as Edgar Wright’s other films…” If you’re expecting a third instalment from the Cornetto trio, you are bound to be disappointed. Scott Pilgrim was never meant to be a follow up to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, not does it lay claim to a lineage from either film.
What Scott Pilgrim does have in common with Wright’s earlier features, however, are excellent performances and dynamite comic timing. While the acting is over-stylised at points (we’re looking at you, Anna Kendrick), it fits the overall aesthetic of droll comic book surrealism. The female characters of Ramona and Knives are refreshingly well-drawn, holding love triangles and jealous revenge to a higher standard of comedic drama. Chris Evans is particularly appealing as skater-turned-actor Lucas Lee, second only to Jason Schwartzman, a final boss of sorts. Schwartzman is the highlight of the film, on top form with a remarkably restrained, first-class performance.
One of the most entertaining films of the year, you need only take it as seriously as it takes itself. Sit back and relive the excitement of those tricky 8-bit games in film form.
What did you think of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World? What is your favourite comic book adaptation?