The NewAge Amazon Vs. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Okay, so, I have not shied away from expressing my excitement for the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World nor have I hidden the fact that I fangirl for the comics the way Knives Chau fangirls for Sex Bob-Omb (for those of you unfamiliar with the comic: that’s a lot). But even so, going into the movie I was very, very wary of what it could potentially end up being. I mean, what if all the amazing trailers and the good feed back from comic creator Bryan Lee O’Malley and the positive reaction from fans…what if that was all a terrible, terrible lie?
Good news: IT’S NOT.
I’m afraid I’m going to end up gushing madly here, because this movie is one of the best comic to movie adaptations I’ve ever seen…if not THE best. The entire feel of the comics was actually captured on screen in a way that is very difficult to do. Robert Rodriguez managed to do it for Sin City, and Zach Snyder did so for Watchmen, but both of those situations were still dealing with fairly “real world” sort of settings compared to Scott Pilgrim.
But Edger Wright’s movie manages to capture so many of the comic’s trademarks: the video game references, the text panels and the breaking of the 4th wall are all there. The look is absolutely perfect, scenes from the comics were captured just as they needed to be. Oh, and the cast is absolutely fantastic and is pretty much dead on. Special nods to Kieran Culkin (Wallace Wells, Scott’s roomate), Aubrey Plaza (the foul-mouthed Julie Powers) and Brandon Routh (Evil Ex Todd Ingram). And it was really awesome to see Michael Cera reunited with Arrested Development castmate Mae Whitman.
However, the thing that most impressed me was the way the film was edited, and most importantly, the sound editing. The film makes use of a lot of music, after all, many of the main characters (and several of Ramona’s evil ex’s) are in bands, and the way it is used is just PERFECT. But even better than that are the use of sound effects, and yes, I think that is the first time I’ve actually typed that sentence in a review. It’s not normally something I notice, but Scott Pilgrim does it all pretty much perfectly.
Do I have any gripes? Well, maybe one, but it is kind of minor. Let’s get the big one out of the way: there was A LOT missing. Not so much that viewers who don’t know the comics will be confused or unfulfilled, I was actually really impressed with how well they managed to include as much as they did, but this is imperative: you still need to read the comic. Not to understand the movie, but because the comic provides so much more of these characters.
My biggest issue with things being cut, aside from certain scenes I would have loved to see re-enacted on screen (if you’ve read the comics you will understand when I say “BUT IT WAS HORRIBLE FOR EVERYONE. AND THAT INCLUDES YOU.”), was that Envy Adams, Scott’s ex-girlfriend and lead singer of The Clash at Demonhead, is extremely underused in the film. In the comics she’s much more vital to the book’s ending, in the film I felt like she was kind of glanced over.
BUT: going into a one movie adaptation of a 6 volume series, I was not expecting a direct-to-screen adaptation. And the finished product still makes me EXTREMELY HAPPY in a very, very, very geeky way.
The only other problem I’ve heard was from another person in the theatre who said it was very slow starting out. Let me clarify this for you: you will be laughing from the very first scene and will probably not stop except to kind of gape at the screen during fight scenes (which are very well done and are not filmed with the sort of cut-away-to-wide-shot stuff you usually see when movies try to disguise that stunt doubles are actually doing all of the fighting). It does take awhile to get into the action-y parts of the film, but that really works in it’s favor. After all, as Satya Bhabha, who plays evil ex #1 Matt Patel, mentioned when he talked to Buzznet, it’s kind of awesome to see this movie start out in this very romantic-comedy situation and, all of a sudden, a guy bursts through the ceiling and attacks the lead character, seemingly out of nowhere.
In short? This movie lives up to every bit of hype it has been given. It truly is an epic of epic epicness.