It’s Canada Day, and what better way to celebrate than with the most awesome Canadian action comedy film of all time? Granted, that is a very small category, but it should not diminish the excellence of Scott Pilgrim vs the World.
Part coming-of-age comedy, part epic video game battles to the death, Scott Pilgrim is a truly unique vision from UK director Edgar Wright (he of The Cornetto Trilogy) based on Canadian Bryan O’Malley’s even funnier comic book. It also marks the high point of Michael Cera’s career, and proves that there’s an even better Culkin than Macauley out there, so there’s that.
Scott Pilgrim initially found it difficult to find an audience, and that is a crying shame, as it is one of the most inventive and exciting comedies of recent years. Perhaps the fact that it starred Michael Cera didn’t work in its favour, but Cera is excellent in the role of Scott, a guy who’s a bit of a useless dick but underneath lies the heart of a hero. The supporting cast, also, is wonderful, from the neurotic “talent” of Sex Bobomb Stephen Stills, to fangirly and later badass Knives, by way of sarcastic drummer Kim Pine. The exes too, are fantastic casting, from Chris Evans parodying himself as arrogant movie star Lucas Lee, to Mae Whitman’s bi-furious Roxy Richter. There’s even time for one of Scott’s exes to appear, Envy Adams as played by the brilliant Brie Larson. But the king showstealer of Scott Pilgrim vs the World, as with the comic book, is Kieran Culkin’s Wallace Wells. Wallace’s default setting is “drunk homosexual”, and as such, he gets all of the best lines and moments. But refreshingly, these aren’t tired, stereotypical gay jokes, but again new and genuinely funny. Wallace is without doubt the cool best friend everyone wants to have. In fact, LGBT visibility is huge in the Scott Pilgrim books, and while some character’s own sexuality (Stephen Stills, for example) is not mentioned due to time constraints, neither Wallace being gay, or Ramona and Roxie’s former relationship is seen as a big deal. Well, the latter is a big deal to Scott, but that’s the point. And there’s also the presence of Other Scott and Jimmy, two of Wallace’s love interests, who also steal some of the best moments.
Scott Pilgrim feels like a truly modern film, self-referential and clever, with just enough cool action scenes to satisfy the blockbuster crowd. While much of the comic is missed out, which is necessary, nothing feels particularly lacking and missing. Well, except for the possibility of having even more Wallace screen time. If you’ve never entered the world of Scott Pilgrim before, watch this film immediately, and pick up O’Malley’s six-book comic series straight after.