Edgar Wright takes the iconic Canadian graphic novel adventure of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and adapts it brilliantly and energetically to the big screen, casting Michael Cera in the titular role as Scott.
Using iconic Toronto locations as a backdrop the story follows Scott in his quest to win the heart of the beautiful Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and deal with her seven evil exes, who all want to take Scott apart.
Packed with an all-star cast and a video game sensibility, this one ends up being incredibly entertaining, incredibly quotable and a really fun time. Even as the store incorporates themes of responsibility, growth, and accountability.
There are tons of fun little easter eggs and asides as Scott confronts the likes of Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), Todd (Brandon Routh), and Gideon (Jason Schwartzman). Each of then shows up like a bad penny to interfere with the blossoming relationship between Ramona and Scott.
Like all of Wright’s films, there’s a frenetic energy to the movie that keeps the pace, the laughs, and the story moving at rocket speed. It’s a delightful, fun ride that is wonderfully entertaining and lets its cast shine.
Through it all, the characters of both Scott and Ramona grow nicely and have definable arcs that make them real and grounded characters, something which is incredibly important with a film like this that leans heavily into the fantastical and sets everything up like a video game.
It had actually been about ten or twelve years since I last watched this film and that bothers me because it’s just so enjoyable and so relatable. I love the way Wright and Michael Bacall adapted the original comics by Bryan Lee O’Malley while capturing familiar images from the comic, and Toronto, and completely embracing O’Malley’s storytelling style.
Cera was absolutely made to play this role, and the cast Wright surrounded him with, from Kieran Culkin to Anna Kendrick make this an all-star riot that is a pure blast of cinematic confection.
Seeing iconic locations on the screen, especially those that are now gone, makes this film as much a love letter to Toronto as it is to the comic on which it is based. I love that Wright shot here in town and set his characters in a recognizable Canada instead of changing it to some American city to reach a wider audience.
I love Wright’s work, and while I often find myself frequently revisiting the Cornetto Trilogy, maybe it’s time to expand that to more of his work, it’s all so good!
Perhaps, if I can find some free time, I’ll dig into some of his other work that I haven’t reviewed here yet. But as a director, he’s yet to disappoint me. Keep ’em coming!