This is a reprint of my review which
was published on this blog about 2 years ago, with a number of minor revisions. That version of the review can be found here. Also be sure to check out the Movie Hour podcast on the film from November 2011 here.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (USA, 2010)
Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Brandon Routh
When I reviewed Gregory's Girl, I argued that coming-of-age movies are both thin on substance and have a limited lifespan. Films as varied as American Graffiti and Dirty Dancing revolve around the same old stories of young love and heartbreak; the ones that last are not just those that evoke their period, but which contain some kind of deeper truth about the process of growing up.
Tomb Raider, the film doesn't feel like you are watching someone else playing a game and expecting you to be interested. The fight sequences feel like natural continuations of the story, and the character development in-between is a damn sight more complex and insightful than the swathes of exposition in something like Silent Hill.
Batman movies there is no real need to demonstrate their danger beyond stylised forms of suggestion.
National Lampoon's Animal House, Porky's or Superbad. But despite all the moments where we cringe at the characters' actions, Scott Pilgrim is not out to make us wriggle uncomfortably in our seats. The more intimate scenes, including those of Ramona in her underwear, are shot with an underlying sense of respect. The film treats its female characters on a level playing field, not just by demonstrating they can fight as well as the men, but by refusing to fall into the trap of laughing at their misfortune during the break-up scenes.