The Ongoing Scott Pilgrim Review: Part 1
WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS. MANY, MANY SPOILERS. DO NOT CLICK IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD. ANNA AND OLLIE, THIS MEANS YOU.
- Firstly, a pre-emptive strike: I'm not going to talk about the success this film has had at the box office, at least not until the UK charts from this week are out. Even then, it depends on how well it does and how cross I get. It's not actually something I want to talk about, at all. This is a purely subjective review, from a fan of both Edgar Wright and Bryan Lee O'Malley.
- OK ENOUGH SERIOUS STUFF, LET'S PARTY.
- The casting, particularly of the secondary characters, was fantastic. I mean, yeah, Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead were good, blah blah blah, but you know who I loved the most? Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells and Alison Pill as Kim Pine. Especially Alison Pill, actually. I mean, duh, everyone loved Wallace and Culkin completely stole every scene he was in, but Kim sort of sneaked up into becoming my favourite character towards the end of the books, and Pill totally did her credit; she captured her surliness, but somehow still made her likeable. (Well, I liked her.) Oh, and apparently Johnny Simmons does some awesome background stuff as Young Neil, but I was too overwhelmed by the foreground stuff to notice that (it's a pretty, uh, frenetic film) although I did love 'You should see them live. They're better live.'
- Actually, yes, Michael Cera. Everyone had their doubts. I definitely had my doubts, and I'm firmly entrenched in the 'Edgar Wright can do no wrong' camp, plus I've actually like Michael Cera in everything else I've seen him in. I just really wasn't convinced he was right for Scott. I was relieved, I think, when the trailers came out, and now that I've seen the full film, I've got to say that he did a pretty good job. Scott's an idiot, basically, but he has to be played as the right kind of idiot, and Cera did it really well [patronising pat on head]. Oh, and I nearly forgot his spazzy bass dancing, which is something he must have inferred from O'Malley's artwork, and is just perfect.
- The script was really well handled, especially considering what a mammoth task it must have been to condense six books into a 1hr 52min film whilst also keeping everything that the fans love. There were so many little lines from the books that I think I may have been in the only person laughing at, like Wallace's over-earnest 'You're too good for him!' to Knives, and Stacey and Scott's 'Did you really see a future with this girl?' 'Like, with jetpacks?' In fact, I'd say about the first half hour of the film is just the first book, almost panel for panel. Now that's fanservice. Obviously, some things had to be left out, but I like how most of them were integrated in some way - like how the fight between Ramona and Envy was omitted, but they transferred 'her weak point's the back of her knees' over to Roxy instead. As for the ending, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I did like it. It felt a little odd, because it was like the last few minutes had been building towards Scott and Knives getting back together, only to swerve back to Ramona at the last minute. I'm ok with that, though, because what it ended up being was a lot closer to the final book than I thought it would be; Scott and Ramona aren't necessarily back together, but there's that same sense of 'we messed up, let's try again'. I think someone said of 'Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour' that it wasn't a happy ending, but it was a hopeful ending, and in a way, that was better. I think I feel the same way about the film.
- AND THEN HE STALKED HER UNTIL SHE LEFT. Perfect. I laughed so much.
- The whole damn look of the thing. For starters, it's basically a two-hour video game, but that's not all. It's the little panels introducing the characters, and the ownership diagram of Scott and Wallace's flat, and the animated flashback sequences, and the graphics and the sound effects and OH EVERYTHING DAMMIT. As ultraculture put it, 'the whole Scott Pilgrim universe feels like it was invented purely so it could one day become an Edgar Wright movie'; Edgar himself keeps saying in interviews that the books reminded him of Spaced. This is the most perfect combination of author and director that I have ever seen.
- This doesn't really have anything to do with the actual movie, but I've gotta say how much I loved the people in my screening. I mean, it was 3.15 in the afternoon and it was only the second showing on the day it was released, so there's a reasonable chance that they were mostly fans anyway, but no one walked out and everyone laughed in the right places and in the pause when Scott is tying his shoe before going to fight Gideon someone yelled, 'DOUBLE KNOT!' They were an awesome audience. But then, that's because Norwich is awesome. But then, you all already knew that.
- I think what I'm trying to say is that I really, really like this film. But then, you all already knew that, too.