When I was first introduced to Scott Pilgrim vs.The World I saw an interview with the director Edgar Wright. He described the film as a musical, but instead of people breaking into song when the emotion is too strong, they break out into fights. On that description alone I was sold. After seeing this film, it is so much more than that. The film manages to have so many elements from other genres that its hard to label which one it is. Not only that but it manages to fuse them all seamlessly.
Let me just get this out of way by saying that everything in this film is done originally. The trouble with most films that have new tricks is that they will tend to overuse; such as Will Ferrell and his jokes. This film, on the other hand, every time it does something that has done before it’s done in a new and interesting way. Michael Bay should have a note pad with him when he sees this film.
Lets start with the first genre it touches on. Scott Pilgrim is a comic book adaptation so it’s obviously under the comic book film genre. I have not read the source material so I was unaware what to expect from the film from that standpoint. Regardless of how much they left out from the comic, this film is paced brilliantly. From the first reel this film never lets up and comes at you like a freight train. Part of this pacing is due to the crazy editing that is so fun and original.
The way this film changes from scene to scene is so unique. Such as, the camera pans across the scene and has someone or something take up the lens and then when it moves past they are somewhere else. Another technique is to hold the camera on one item like a front entrance or a sky and the scene will turn from night to day. Each time they do this its from a different angle or at a different pace.
Back to the comic book aspect. Throughout the film there are little comic book effects where if a phone rings or someone gets thrown or hit you will see a worded version of the sound appear. Whether or not this has been done before in movies every time Edgar added this effect he would put in a new place or have it appear in an interesting way.
Another genre this film touches is video games. I felt this was the most noticeable and surprising of all influences. Partly because its not based on any video game property. The film is obviously influenced by video games, more specifically older games from the 8 bit era such as Mario and Zelda. The film’s plot itself plays out like a video game. Scott Pilgrim has to defeat 7 evil ex’s in order to date the girl of his dreams, and just like a video game each ex behaves like a boss and teach ex that Scott meets is more difficult than the last.
Beyond the plot the film has sprinkled game references throughout. From the constant on-screen animations of character statistics as they are introduced down to background sound affects. Regarding the animation, that was one of the coolest elements of the film because it also aids the story at certain plot turns. Video games also influenced the action sequences. Once again they are very original and totally bad ass! Forget The Legend of Chung-Li this is the true Street Fighter movie.
Beyond all of that, this film manages to juggle these elements but also be extremely funny and heart warming at the same time. To sum up, this movie really is a film of our generation. This is one huge media mash up and has so many references that I would be surprised if one person could pick up even half of them. Edgar Wright uses all of these elements to create a film that captures the best of entertainment from the past 20 years and beyond! I could keep going on about how this film utilizes great music and gives great satire on so many social groups but I don’t want to spoil it anymore. The bottom line is everyone needs to go see this movie. Take your brother, mother, hell even your Grandma. This is The feel good movie of the summer and the very definition of a Fun movie.