I do prefer entering a film with no tangible knowledge of it, and the only thing I knew about Scott Pilgrim vs the World was that it starred Michael Cera, who I think of as a mediocre version of Paul Dano. It sounds harsh, but c’est moi. I’m curious as to what information I’d have found on it. I’m still in a quandary as to the appropriate of describing precisely what Scott Pilgrim vs the World is about. A cinematic video game? A post-adolescent love story? A rock and roll comedy? Each of those descriptions seems incredibly trite.Scott Pilgrim... could easily be surmised to be a film designed to put Cera front and centre. He’s yet to fully break free of the bathetic Bleeker from Juno regardless of the film he’s in – even though he seems to try. I can’t be certain that he’s accomplished that with Scott Pilgrim vs the World, but it doesn’t matter. As protagonist centred as it seems to be, the film exists best as a comedy ensemble. True, the acting’s not necessarily the best thing in it – I’m ridiculously subjective to its hilariously irreverent writing, but the acting’s not far behind. I’m still smarting, somewhat, at the positive response Anna Kendrick earned for her subpar work in Up in the Air but I can say that I’m on my way to letting that go. She’s still every bit as high-strung as Up in the Air’s Natalie – but for some reason it makes sense here – and so does she. She, and Aubrey Plaza, offer two of the very supporting performances that make me smile each time they appear on screen.
It’d be remiss of me to make it seem as if the main cast isn’t doing good work though. I’m not particularly smitten with Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Ramona who seems on point at times and then really bland at others and Ellen Wong’s psychotic groupie of sorts works well but seems to be overused. Measure that against Alison Pill’s brilliant take on her female drummer that seems to be seriously underused. Speaking of underused, I hope that Johnny Simmon’s career manages to take off he’s on the sidelines in this one but he seems like one to watch. Scott Pilgrim vs the World seems more interested in its male ensemble, and even though – yes – their all crazy caricatures in most instances it doesn’t stop me from finding them all riotous. It’s too easy, but Kieran Culkin really does emerge as best-in-show even if the role seems to be written with all those tongue-in-cheek instances that make a bit too obvious at times. Cera and he keep up a believable banter that contributes to a good bit humour in the film.
I’m still not sure what to make of it, or what it is....I can say, unequivocally, it's the most fun any 2010 release has been so far for me. Yojimbo told me that I’d end up liking Scott Pilgrim vs the World because I was a sucker for romanticism. I hate to think that I’m so transparent, but (damn him) he’s right.