Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World ★★★★½

How had I not watched this yet?

This might be Edgar Wright's masterpiece, an explosive and sugar-coated joy ride into a comic book or arcade game, full of the energy and vibrancy of youth culture as well as some of the best and most kinetic fight scenes and visual effects I've ever seen. The cast is full of some of Hollywood's best just as they were breaking out, and its a rare film where its clear how much fun they had making it, yet it only makes the electric thrills of the pumping action and music even more of a rush, calling to mind the dopamine-addled brains of everyone young and in love. Both Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are perfectly suited to their roles yet succeed in not falling into complete cliche, while supporting characters like an absolutely brilliant Chris Evans and a hilarious Kieran Culkin steal the screen whenever they appear.

Not only that, despite the cartoonish aesthetic, 'Scott Pilgrim' has something to say - grappling with the past is something you do in every relationship, and owning up to these mistakes and overcoming blockages is vital to maintaining control over your life (although perhaps not as physically as in here). Edgar Wright knows what he's doing and he knows that he knows what he's doing, with every whip-pan and comedic beat planned to perfection. In the making-of, a producer called it a 'fightsical', where song and dance is replaced by hand to hand combat, and indeed each punch feels like a character expressing their loud and confusing emotions, just as characters sing in a musical when conversing is not enough.

Problems? The ending feels strange, not that he shouldn't have ended up with the dream girl, but it felt a bit anticlimactic especially given the other characters involved, and seemed to negate the whole point of the ending (though I'm not sure). There were also times where I felt the film lagging due to the needs of the tightly wound plot (particularly the fight with the lesbian lover).

All-in-all, this might still be the best video game movie we're ever gonna get, and deserves to be a cult classic, and I hope many more nerdy teenagers discover it for themselves.

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