Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Film Review

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A cult classic of as many cults as there are, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a comedy meets action meets fantasy film. Casually sporting one of the greatest casts of all time, including Michael Sera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick, Allison Pill, Aubrey Plaza, and more, the film is directed by the reputed Edgar Wright, known best for 2017s Baby Driver and the Cornetto Trilogy. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World follows the story of Scott Pilgrim as he tries to date the elusive Ramona Flowers. Before he can do that, however, he must defeat her 7 evil exes.

I’m very confused. Right off the bat, this is a weird movie that requires a LOT of acquired taste to really enjoy. There’s an element of style over substance about it (my nemesis) and the humour is decidedly unusual. I laughed during the film, hard too (vegan part. You best believe I’m talking about the vegan part), but even for me a lot of the jokes were just odd. I’m trying to decide if I find Michael Sera’s style of awkward humour funny and endearing or pissing off. It differs moment to moment, sometimes he’s hilarious, but for the most part I personally just find it meh. Some of the humour is really really clever though, characters like Michael Comeau, a minor character who doesn’t have an unfunny line in the film, are beautiful to the extent that I almost wish we’d seen more of him and less of the intentionally stumbling and spluttering Sera. While some of it was laugh-out-loud funny, a lot of it just fell out weirdly. Some of the puns, though probably intentional in their tragedy, are painful. Not only that, but the bits where everything suddenly turns into a video game? Weird. Please stop.

The action isn’t actually terrible, but it feels so out of place. I can see a universe where it might appeal to someone, but it isn’t mine. The image of Michael Sera doing Smash Bros-style combos would be hilarious at first if you weren’t busy checking your blood for cocaine concentration, and that moment goes away pretty quickly. The camera work is actually really impressive if you think about it, but you’re so busy confused as hell that the clever transitions and genius subtleties are completely missed: had my brother not pointed them out after the fact lord knows I’d never have noticed if I saw the film a hundred times. There are moments when the attention to detail is noticeable and not strange at the same time (when people die, a pile of coins in the distinct shape of a body lie where they used to be. That’s a lot of effort for what is an inherently small thing), but they are less often than they ought to be.

All of the above considered, though, I actually really enjoyed the last twenty minutes or so. Frankly, until that point, I was looking pretty regularly at my watch waiting for this thing to end. I think I’d give more of a damn if they built Scott and Ramona’s relationship as a thing worth fighting for, but for all intents and purposes this thing was a fling (why it even got that far I don’t understand). Despite the stale development of that relationship, however, I have to admit that the last twenty minutes are a little too entertaining not to enjoy. Maybe it had something to do with the realisation that the thing was almost over, but I did genuinely find the last twenty minutes funny, not weird, and even potent in certain situations. I don’t know if it’s enough to save the film in my eyes, but it was something and that’s not nothing.

I should clarify, because it might not be clear: I did not hate this movie. The fact is this is a very niche, unusual film that just isn’t for everyone. I found a lot of it funny, but I found just as much and more of it weird. That might be you too, or it might your thing and if it is then this film is for you, it just definitely wasn’t for me.

– Aman Datta

Aman’s Score –  54/100                                                                          Aryamaan’s Score – 51/100


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