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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

After a long absence, here's my review of a film I had never seen before

By Jamie LammersPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

Yes, that's right. I'm one of those idiots that had never seen this film before. In fact, I was such an idiot about this film that I didn't even know what it was about. IN FACT, I was such an idiot about this film that I had no idea that the one and only EDGAR WRIGHT co-wrote and directed this film. That's how little I knew about what Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was except that it was some sort of heavily stylized adventure that paid tribute to classic video games. That's all I really knew about this film going in, and coming out of it, I'm just as much in love with this film as everyone else is.

This could possibly be the most tightly edited film I've ever seen. Every single moment in this film feels intentional, from the exact motions of the camera to the particular movements of the heads of the actors to how quickly dialogue moves to the exact direction certain objects move, every single thing in this movie is planned to a T, and all the better for it. This is my first Edgar Wright film, and it feels like no one else could have directed this as he did. Every single nook and cranny of this film is attended to in the best way possible, and somehow, Edgar's fast-paced style allows for exchanges of dialogue that could stretch this film to two and a half or even three hours be shortened to fit all of these huge character arcs in just two. This film constantly moves forward, and it's consistently engaging in that regard.

Just stick with it for a bit, because at the beginning of the film, you almost start to wonder why you're rooting for Scott Pilgrim. He makes mistakes, sure, but they're often the kinds of mistakes that seem borderline unlikable, and I was definitely worried that this film was just gonna forget about the problems it brought up by the time it reached its conclusion. However, the final sequence in this film brought every single conflict to the most satisfying end it possibly could have, and for that, I am nothing but impressed. Seriously, how is this film not two and a half hours long with how much is in it and how does it feel rushed in the best way possible? Even the quick cuts aren't annoying in this film!! Wow!!

This is easily Michael Cena's best performance. In fact, everyone does an absolutely phenomenal job here, from Mary Elizabeth Winstead to Anna Kendrick to Kieran Culkin to Brie Larson to Aubrey Plaza to Ellen Wong, I could go on and on and on, those were just my favorite performances in this film. They all have an incredibly difficult task of making this stylized dialogue and premise come across in a somewhat grounded way, and they all pull it off wonderfully. The soundtrack is also incredible, with some great original rocking tunes heading the film's background that feel perfectly set in this universe.

Oh, and how can we not talk about the special effects and the action sequences? Sure, you're aware that there's CGI throughout the course of the film, but it's so effortlessly incorporated into the film's story that it often doesn't even feel like it's there. On top of that, the action is consistently thrilling, with some incredibly well-choreographed fighting and even plenty of chances for the women to hold their own as well. Because this was (apparently) based on a graphic novel, this film could have so easily fallen under the temptation of stereotyping every single character, but the possibly offensive stereotypes in this film aren't used for comedy at the character's expense, they're used to highlight the naive choices that other characters make and how truly clueless and detached from society they can be.

This is a romance film, pure and simple, but it takes all of the cliches you expect from a rom-com like this and turns them into an action-heavy comic and video-game lover's heaven. I can TOTALLY understand why someone would hate this movie. Heck, if I saw this movie five years ago, I probably would have hated it. Now, though, I think that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a masterclass in making a film that is self-aware of its own stupidity and ridiculousness while also managing to create a truly likable story that gives full consequences and redemption arcs to its clueless characters. Okay, the ending might be a little too serendipitous in certain aspects, but frankly, I don't care. I loved every single frame of this film, especially once I got used to the stylized nature of it about halfway through its runtime, and to me, Scott Pilgrim absolutely deserves its classic status.

Letter Grade: A+


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