Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is based off of a comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The story was unique and gave several nods to the video game industry, eventually transforming it into several different mediums, including a film adaptation. Edgar Wright took on the task of writing the screenplay and directing the film, with audiences eager to see how his comedy would fit the style of the story. Would he be able to satisfy all the fans, or was it too tall of an order?
Before I say anything here, I’m going to state that I’ve never read the comics, so everything I’m saying is based off of what I saw in the film.
The story to Scott Pilgrim is pretty unique. There is definitely a “video game” feel to the fact that Scott has to defeat seven evil exes to ultimately date Ramona. It’s a great way to have audiences look forward to the fights and give them a reason to cheer Scott on. Those that have read the comics will probably be happy with how the story was handled, though I hear the ending is different. Overall, the story provides a fun path for Scott to take as he battles Ramona’s exes.
While I said that audiences will have a reason to cheer Scott on, that doesn’t mean he’s always likeable. He has some jerk moments, but that makes him that much more human. In fact, all of the characters act fairly realistically, even if some situations would never happen. A lot of the comedy comes from the interaction between the characters, and it wouldn’t be nearly as funny if the characters weren’t developed. Some are more fleshed out than others, but that’s understandable given that they are not key characters.
This was the part I was most excited and worried about, to be honest. I was excited because I heard that Brad Allan (from Jackie’s stunt team) was the stunt coordinator, but I was worried because I’ve seen talented people get flossed over through flashy edits. Thankfully, the action is really fantastic. I was actually impressed at some of the sequences and how well they were shot. Huge props to Brad Allen as well as Edgar Wright for letting the pros handle these sequences.
What makes these fights truly unique are the “video game” aspect I was talking about earlier. The fights seamlessly blend what is real and what isn’t, yet it never takes the viewer out of the experience. The fights are pretty easy to follow, even when there are a lot of things happening on the screen at the same time. I don’t think there will be anyone that has a problem with the action in Scott Pilgrim.
Own it, Watch it, or Skip it?
I should have learned my lesson after Kung Fu Hustle, but comedy is very hard to rate. On top of that, you’ve got references to video games that the general audience may or may not understand. However, I think it is all of these little differences that really make Scott Pilgrim stand out, and give it a voice of its own. While it may not be the same type of movie that most are used to, I think that Scott Pilgrim is a refreshing breath of fresh air and deserves a spot in anyone’s collection…as long as they can handle the comedy.