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September 6, 2010 | by  | in Film |
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Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Scott Pilgrim vs the World
Directed by Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright has made a name for himself with his incredibly pop culture-savvy output, whether this be his BBC TV show Spaced or his knack for simultaneous genre parody/homage in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. His most recent film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, is pop-culture porn. A kinetic, colourful, cluttered assault on the senses that references video games, music, TV and other films—I freaking loved it.

Of course, I am by no means unbiased on the matter. As a child of the nineties and noughties I am predisposed to squeals of glee whenever Zelda, Seinfeld or Dragonball Z is referenced. Nostalgia aside, however, this film certainly stands in its own right.

Based on a Canadian cult comic book series, Scott Pilgrim stars a reliable (if typecast) Michael Cera as the eponymous lead. He falls in love with Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but to secure his place in her life he must defeat her seven evil exes lead by the repulsive Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman). While both leads are solid, the scenes are consistently stolen by various members of its huge supporting cast. Of note are Kieran Culkin as Scott’s gay roommate, Anna Kendrick as his sister, Ellen Wong as his adorable but scorned ex-girlfriend, and Schwartzman, Brandon Routh and Chris Evans shine as members of the league of evil exes. Evans’ cocky film star Lucas Lee is the funniest thing in a very funny film.

With all the things the film has going for it, it adds up to a bit too much. Wright keeps the volume turned up to 10 for the whole film, leaving no space to breathe. It is almost as if someone made an entire film out of the intertextual and cinematographic gimmicks that made his previous two films such joys (in much smaller quantities). The film could have probably benefited from having a few superfluous characters or plot points cut, and some of the more gimmicky aspects limited to just the battle scenes.

Other than that, the film was a delight and will feature in many of the ‘best of the year’ lists compiled by my fellow pop-culture nerds.

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