Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - ****

It seems funny to think that Scott Pilgrim could be the role that Michael Cera was born to play, considering it's essentially the only role he's ever played, but I think that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the film in which he was meant to play it. His awkward/irresponsible late-teen/early twenty-something has never been more enjoyable, nor has it been better blended with the narrative, and cinematic, style as it is here in this love letter to/send up of hipster culture. Covering everything from being in a shitty grunge band to vegan superiority to going through a bi-sexual phase, Scott Pilgrim weaves together an impressive collection of hipster cliches without succumbing to their obnoxiousness, and skillfully turns small problems into amusing epics, ranging from finding reasons to put on a hat in order to cover up imperfectly messy hair to having to defeat seven evil exes to win the right to date a girl.

It's an action film disguised as a comedy, or maybe a comedy disguised as an action film, following more the structure of an action film, while taking on more of a comedic style and pace. But it's also part romance, part drama, part fantasy, kung-fu musical, live-action anime and about a dozen other different genres, mixing them all together into one of the funnest, sweetest, smartest film of the year, edited together at warp speed using a dozen different aspect ratios and never missing a beat. I defy you to find another film even remotely similar. It's incredibly unique. It's pure style and kinetic energy. It's simultaneously nostalgic and ahead of its time. Scott Pilgrim is, without a doubt, one of the most fully realized films I've seen in a long, long time. I can't recommend it enough.

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