Scary Bird

Scary Bird
Bird at Castle Howard - photo by Jeremy Fiest

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World -- Movie review

I can honestly say that I've never seen a film that has been, both, so nerdy and awesome at the same time. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is an insanely exciting, jaw-dropping action spectacle, that so thoroughly embraces the ludicrous that you'll find it impossible to wipe the smile from your face.

Written and Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), Scott Pilgrim is his first American film, however, it is far from the traditional summer action flick. What excites me most after seeing this film is the solidified potential for the Ant Man movie Wright will direct, set for release in 2011. Wright proves that he's no slouch when it comes to the seamless combination of interesting characters and eye-popping action. The latter trait, in this case, also owes much of its success to the cinematographer, the very talented, Bill Pope (The Matrix, Spiderman 2).

The film centers around Scott Pilgrim, a young, nerdy aspiring-rocker (Michael Cera), who seems to attract all kinds of woman trouble (Sounds like me), and lives -- and sleeps in the same bed -- with his cool, gay roommate, Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin), who is undoubtedly the most interesting character in the film. While still recovering from a breakup that occurred over a year ago, Pilgrim begins dating - against the advice of his sister, Stacy Pilgrim (Ana Kindrick) - an obsessed high-school girl, Knives (Ellen Wong), before, again, shifting gears and jumping into relationship with "the girl of his dreams," Ramona Flowers (played by the smokin' hot, Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The problem: Ramona Flowers has seven - count 'em - SEVEN evil ex's that he must defeat in battle if he wants to be her new beau. They call themselves the League of Evil Ex's, and they include an outcast, a vegan (Brandon Routh), a movie star (Chris Evans), twin rockers, a lesbian, and, the leader of the group, a successful record producer, Gideon Graves (played hilariously by Jason Schwartzman).

I absolutely love how the action is first introduced into the film. It begins in a presumably normal reality - despite the animated words that pop up here and there like a comic book - until Ramona's first boyfriend is introduced, in which the film instantly goes from corky comedy, to corky comedy AND kick ass, action extravaganza.  It's not only in the hyperintense, video game-like special effects or the always top-notch cinematography by Pope, but it's also in the ultra-cool fight choreography that really makes the action stand out. Why? Because they somehow convincingly and consistently make the nerd of nerds, Michael Cera, look like Jet Li in the blink of an eye.

This is, for sure, a film you want to try and catch while it is still in theaters. It's just way too much fun to miss out on. And while it may not be a total package for the much older generations - those who never experienced the era of video games - it does have many other charms that will surely interest them, regardless. Because below the face-melting special effects and action, this is really a very simple story about the crazy things a young man is willing to go through for the love of a girl, and while the video game action is the primary point-of-interest, this is a film where our characters learn a few things, and change for the better in the end, even if it's only a little. That being said, like Wright's previous films, Pilgrim will surely go down as another cult favorite, ending up on the shelves of cinephiles around the world.

Thanks for reading.


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