Dazzling genius. Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who is quite literally the girl of his dreams. Trouble is that she has seven evil exes that he must defeat if he wishes to date her, never mind the fact that he has a high school girlfriend himself. I want to start off by saying that this is a movie that I hold close to my heart. For one thing, it played a critical role in the origin story of me and my wife, but that’s not even close to being the only thing that I love about this. It may not be the best comic book of all time, but I sincerely believe that it is the most faithful. If you’ve read the terrific six volume comic series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, you know that as much as possible from the source material is crammed into this movie. Even the elements that you wouldn’t think would translate well are featured, like enemies bursting into coins upon defeat.
The dialogue is sometimes even line for line.
This is a movie that holds a number of ‘best’ titles, for me at least. It has the best commentary out there about hipster culture, which I appreciated. While it isn’t based off an existing video game, it is hands down the best video game movie ever made and probably ever will be made (although it did inspire a very fun side scroller fighting game). There are so many details on this that make it feel like a comic book, even on top of the bursting into coins. There are visual sound effects that typically only show up on the written page, like “thomp” or “thwock” all over this movie, which brings me to my next ‘best’: this is one of the best edited films ever made. For me, it’s a toss up between this and Run Lola Run, and you could make a case for either one. You can totally tell that this was a labor of love for director Edgar Wright, and I heard that he put in 18-hour works days in the editing studio, and it really shows. There isn’t a single moment in this that doesn’t fluently flow right into the next, and it makes for a refreshing and unique experience.
All of Wright’s hard work is very present, plainly there on the screen.
Even on top of all of that, I still have one more ‘best’ to award. This is one of the best movies out there about the anatomy of a relationship. It’s very honest in its approach, and there is actually wisdom to be found, which is not something that you would likely suspect based off of the movie I just described above. Everybody has emotional baggage, so if you want your current relationship to stand a chance, you’re going to have to sort it out. It’s right up there with High Fidelity for me in movies that I can get some sort of guidance regarding relationships every time I watch it. As stellar as everything is about this, I have to say that the very best aspect about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is that it is laugh out loud funny as it is quotable. Everybody is perfectly cast in their roles, and it is a hard movie not to connect with. The soundtrack rocks and it is perfectly paced, and it is almost to the point where if you blink, you’ll likely miss one of the countless clever jokes. I can’t recommend this enough, and it has personality and style to spare.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) *****
– Critic for Hire