I'm at Comic-Con and was given a chance to see the world-premiere of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World tonight. I've just arrived back to my hotel sort of in awe.
For those who don't know, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is about a guy (Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera) who finds the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and has to fight her 7 Evil Exes in order to date her.
It's based on a series of six graphic novels that are very, very fun reads. (Start here with those.)
As far as the film goes, I'm wondering what I can say about it. There's almost not much to say about it. If you've read the graphic novels (though I actually saw the film before I was able to read Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour), there didn't really seem to be any surprises other than the fact that they actually pulled the tone of the book straight off of the page and filmed it.
Edgar Wright, the director, is a master of this sort of tone and tight storytelling, but I was pretty worried about how he would adapt such a unique property. I'd read the script quite a while ago (and even posted a raving review of it), and I was pretty confident that he understood the source material, but I was dying to see how it could come off in moving pictures. I shouldn't have worried. He pulled it off pretty flawlessly. It was one of the most charming films I've seen in recent memory and all of the actors really owned their parts.
With a cast of standouts, it was surprising to see that there were stars that shone just a little brighter than the rest. First of those was Kieran Culkin. He completely stole every scene he was in. He plays Wallace, Scott's Gay roommate and every time he's on screen, you're guaranteed a laugh. Then you've got Michael Cera, who found a part he was literally born to play. I haven't really seen him in all that much, so all of the overexposure to him that people keep talking about has just passed me by. He owned the part of Scott Pilgrim so much that I literally forgot his name halfway through the film.
Thomas Jane also has one of the single best cameos in film history. And I think Brandon Routh needs to play Superman again. (After the film the entire cast came out on stage and he was like a head and a half taller than everybody and built like Superman still. He needs to carry on that legacy, especially with how great he is in all the films he's been in since Superman Returns.)
I laughed so hard watching this film throughout that time blazed by. When the "Would you like to continue?" countdown ended and the credits rolled, I wished that I had more credits to put into the movie because I wanted more. For the videogame generation this film is going to be a mega-hit, and no one will even see it coming.
The film is laid out like a video game, with Scott fighting each of the exes until he finally makes it to a boss battle at the end of the game... er... movie. Along the way, Scott collects points and coins until he gains a level and gets an extra life, which he'll need to win the day.
It made me wish we really did get extra lives in real life. It would help.
And the way the film ended was different from how the script that I read ended. And my guess is that it's probably different from how the series of graphic novels ended. It was a pretty satisfying ending, though, and it was certainly a crowd pleaser. There was a moment where I thought it would have been cool for Scott to have his cake and eat it, too, and Scott, Ramona, and Knives could all end up together simultaneously, but in the end he had to choose. It was nice being able to second-guess who he could have ended up with, though, since I truly had no idea. Now I REALLY have to get back to the book and see which one he ends up with there, to see if there's going to be a whole bunch of pissed off purists.
This movie is going to do very well. It's fun, charming, full of heart, and above-all of those things, it's hilarious. The fight scenes are extremely well put together, the style never gets in the way of the story, and the ending builds up to a "Fuck yeah" moment that is worth the price of admission alone. The crowd was so into the film by the end that I wondered if they were going to explode into candy. (Granted this was an audience of people who sprinted eight city blocks to get in line to catch it first after being told about the secret screening just minutes before the film started, but still...)
Edgar Wright and his cast did the impossible with Bryan Lee O'Malley's source material and they should all be pretty proud. Now he needs to get to work on either Ant-Man, or another film with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Oh, and after the movie, Metric, the band who played The Clash at Demonhead in the film came, and played a set after the cast came out and took a very well deserved bow. It was the perfect end to the evening.