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At the Movies with Peter Clease - Scott Pilgrim vs the World

In the filmic arts--a free form--there are cases of rigidity, and poor timin', vis-À-vis odd mania for the sake of mania; contrary, there exists instances of perfect genre fulfilment, whether it be a musical, a thriller, a noir, a comedy or an action


In the filmic arts--a free form--there are cases of rigidity, and poor timin', vis-À-vis odd mania for the sake of mania; contrary, there exists instances of perfect genre fulfilment, whether it be a musical, a thriller, a noir, a comedy or an action piece. Likewise, there is genre tran'cendence: films that encompass several genres; which, in addition, redefine and refine the product, broaden the scope, as well as uproot any detrimental flaws. As is the case, "Scott Pilgrim" justly rests somewhere in between: due to a lack of oomph and a lay ending, it's not a great work of art, nor genre piece; however, it is a superbly crafted, audacious film; therefore, a success.


The title character, played by Michael Cera, a twenty-something musician, is in a band, datin' a high school girl, and desiring a dark-pink haired vixen, named Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who intrigues him, deeply. After Scott drops his teenaged coat-hanger (Ellen Wong), he begins to date Ramona, and the manic frenzy ensues--and, as such, the secrets and tangles unwind--as it inherent in those transitional, enigmatic women--in the movies, anyway--to be with much complication. Here, Ramona has seven agitated ex-boyfriends, pulsing with super abilities, and hostile reflections towards Scott. But does he cower? No; he confronts, he has no fear; he's like a train on the rails, with the sorry screech poundin', the engine wooing, and the form pushing, pushing, pushing.


At a point, in "Scott Pilgrim," guitars begin to flare up and strum, vicar'ously, sans the need for prepare or development; and as the music gears up--and the players buckle and nerve, ever so slightly--comic titles fly at the screen, and highlight the atmosphere. It was at this moment--this moment of musical mayhem--that satirical elements began to mesh with other elements, whether lyrical or otherwise, and it became as funny as it was exciting. There are several touches like that: a laugh-track; the transformation from bodies to coins; a black bar censoring every curse; and the ever endearing comic titles.


"Scott Pilgrim" has many sources of excellence: the writing; the acting; and the visuals. The writing is tight and witty, especially considering the first three quarters of the film, and it remains smart throughout. Now, Cera is quite good--if a little too internalized--but the more impressive comedic work comes from the supporting cast: Kieran Culkin is subtle, over-the-top and hilarious at the same time; Anna Kendrick is icy and quick; and the entire ex-boyfriend herd is very funny. And then there's those visuals, with that strange, yet oddly humorous wordplay - "Bang!"

4 out of 5 popcorns.