[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B003D7JW9W][/pullquote] Set in Toronto, Canada, the story revolves around Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera); the member of local band Sex Bob-omb, who decides to enter a ˜Battle of the Bands competition. Whilst preparing for the event, Scott’s love-life is turned upside-down by the arrival of new girl in town, Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Finally building up the courage to ask her out, he quickly discovers that he must do battle with her seven evil exes in order to claim her heart.
Edgar Wright is most famous as being one third of the British comedy powerhouse that brought us Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Since the release of Hot Fuzz, the three men have branched out away from each other and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World marks Wright’s first directorial feature film that doesn’t star either Simon Pegg or Nick Frost.
Based on the cult graphic novel of the same name, Wright spares no expense in reenforcing the point that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is an alternative world, where vegans have mystical powers and people turn into coins when killed. It’s like a fusion of old-school 8-bit computer games (complete with sound effects), some of the more off-the-wall comedy of Spaced and the visuals of Kill Bill. Now of you take all of those potentially disparate elements and imagine everyone involved is on acid and you get close to the visual and aural hammering that you will experience whilst watching.
The similarities in direction between Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with some of Wright’s earlier work are clear, with some shots, like the big pan that forwards time directly lifted form Spaced, but it works and is a great introduction to the talent behind the camera. The casting is spot on too, as he is able to get the very best out of Cera, whilst Scott’s best friend Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin) steals every scene he is in. Each of the exes brings a new element of madness or hilarity to the table, with Chris Evans especially impressing as a sort of pseudo satire of himself.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’s action scenes, which are a big part of the graphic novel, are handled with skill and artistry, and the retro 8-bit ˜beat’em up’ style works perfectly within the frankly barmy world that these characters inhabit. The soundtrack is also excellently chosen with a mix of punk-rock, love ballads and arcade game soundtracks all adding to each scene without over-whelming.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is just like listening to Dark Side of the Moon for the first time, you are unlikely to find a more stunningly beautiful, frenetic and insane film in all of cinema. The fact that it tanked at the box office is more a reflection on the lack of appreciation for something so original and unique.