Thursday, August 12, 2010
Moofies - Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)
EXPECTATIONS: I've read all 6 volumes of the Scott Pilgrim comic book and I completely and utterly love it. The last volume was only released 2 weeks before the film, and reading the end was completely bitter sweet. I enjoyed it, but I also didn't want it to be over. Ever.
While being very precious about the original source material, I think that if anyone can make it into a good film Edgar Wright can. He juggled genre gore and jokes with totally relatable characters and dramatic moments perfectly in Shaun of the Dead, so I hope that he can do the same here.
REALITY: I couldn't really have asked for a better adaptation.
Scott Pilgrim (Cera) is a young musician who becomes infatuated with the beautiful Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to continue dating, Scott must defeat Romona's seven evil exes in a variety of extremely well choreographed battles.
Firstly, the casting, costume and makeup is all spot on. If I was being extremely picky I could say that Micheal Cera was a little too much Micheal Cera, but that's just because he's very recognisable. His hair and costume were still perfect.
The sets are spectacularly the same as they are in the comic book. Seeing as the comic book is set in some real Canadian places that wouldn't have been so hard to achieve, but I still appreciate the effort to keep the look the same.
The way the film incorporates visual sound effects (like "Whump!" "Tock!", etc) is seamless rather than invasive. The way the lettering appears and fades, it gives the feel that a sound effect gives when you read it in a comic book, rather than being an invasive Adam West Batman over the top "WHAM!".
The whole film is also completely embedded in video game/comic book/music culture and it's done with care. It may alienate anyone who hasn't grown up immersed in video games, but that doesn't include me so I was totally into it.
Visually this could have been messy, but I think we live in a culture now that can recognise visual cues extremely quickly, and now film technology and expertise has finally caught up with what our brains can easily process.
The audio also seamlessly mixes video game sounds into every day situations, and the music is great. I'm enjoying the soundtrack again as I write.
I have to say I prefer the comic books, but only because it gives the reader more time to get to know and love the characters. Some of my favourite subplots were missing completely from the film, but I understand why. As much as I would love to watch a 6 hour Scott Pilgrim film that sticks completely to the source material, I understand why I can't. As for the few internet voices I hear saying that they prefer the end of the film to the end of the comic book???? I completely disagree. The comic book ended in a huge, manga-epicness way. I don't understand why some people seem to prefer simplified versions of stories. In some ways I'm glad the film was a little different because it meant there were some surprises, but the book still gives the reader the chance and time to connect to the characters more so than the film. The last volume also gave us more time with Kim, which was very much missed from the film.
I think any criticisms of Scott Pilgrim vs the World are miniscule and unimportant when you look at how much Wright has achieved with it. If I described the entire plot with text on paper it would seem overly complicated and crazy, but using comic book and video game visuals Wright has made a completely enjoyable film that made me smile for almost the entire duration.