Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Review

This review was a request by Will Garbers, follow him on Instagram at wilbur_potato.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was, at the time of my first watch, probably the weirdest film I’d ever seen, both in content and style. And I loved it.

It actually heavily confused me the first time I watched it. For about ten minutes or so, I was kind of put off by the text pop ups, the action lines, the energetic, almost frantic way in which it was filmed, it all felt like an animated comic book. Then I remembered that it was based on a comic book and everything that was putting me off was the point, and I started to have a blast. As the film continued, I thought to myself, “Who is this director? How is he doing this style so well?” The answer led me to finding one of my favorite directors of all time, Edgar Wright. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I fully believe Wright was the only Wright choice (I’m just so funny) to direct this movie. His style resembles what a comic book would look like if the medium were based in video rather than still images, and it’s turned up to 17 here. Action lines, text pop-ups, split screens, exaggerated sets and camera movement; it’s utterly perfect for this movie, especially considering how wild the story is. The story is about a young man named Scott (who could have guessed) who falls in love with the girl of his dreams. Problem is, she has seven evil exes who have formed a league to prevent anyone from dating her, and Scott must defeat them in order to be able to go out with her in peace. By defeat, I mean defeat. Scott fights each ex as if it were a video game, complete with them exploding into money when they die. Veganism, band battles, Bollywood dances, with all of these making an appearance during the fights, you’d expect it to be fun, but without tension. That’s where it gets interesting.

Usually, comedies of this nature do two things: Look stale, and spend minimal time on character development to make way for jokes. Scott Pilgrim goes above and beyond in both areas, even to the point where the visuals actually contribute to character development. DO YOU REALIZE HOW HARD THAT IS?? Wright kills two birds with one stone, elevating this film above many comedies that would rather be so awfully lazy with their visuals that they could be audio books and almost nothing would change. You need visuals in this movie. You don’t in movies like Trainwreck, The Boss, Snatched, Can’t Hardly Wait, and other movies with similarly boring aesthetics. It makes me so happy to find a comedy that’s willing to take advantage of each aspect of filmmaking, rather than be satisfied with the bare minimum.

There’s still so much I haven’t even touched on. The acting is great, it’s incredibly funny, each viewing brings new things to my attention and I only appreciate it more every time I watch it. But it’s Edgar Wright. You expected that, right?


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