Edgar Wright’s latest effort contains much of the same irreverent humour found in his previous films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, yet this is where any similarities end. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a different manner of film entirely. Its protagonist is far younger and as such there is less focus on Scott’s transformation into an adult man. Instead, Scott’s transformation is of a young adult hoping to gain some self-respect, as well as his hope of embarking upon a relationship with the lovely Ramona Flowers. Scott quickly falls in love with Ramona and after being informed that the only way he can be with her is to defeat her seven evil exes, is more than willing to undertake the task.
Scott Pilgrim is an oddly immature film, yet it is without doubt a brave, bold move from Edgar Wright. Much of the film takes place within Scott’s childlike imagination; Scott sees the world filled with bright colours, and in a world in which issues with exes can be overcome with Video Game style martial arts fighting; through this it can be hard to connect to anything with any real sense of emotional depth.
This light-hearted, hugely comic approach is both Scott Pilgrim’s weakness and its strength: the style and look of the film is truly new. There is no attempt to ground its narrative in reality, and this disregard for real life is refreshing, but only in small doses. There is simply too much, and by the third and fourth evil ex the film begins to lag, along with it any interest in Scott’s plight is quickly lost; of course this isn’t helped by the very characterisation of Scott himself, who in his self-involvement often disregards the feelings of others.
Ramona too, whilst made interesting through her aloofness, is also hard to empathise with or care about precisely through this aloof nature, and as such it is hard to understand why Scott is so enthralled by her, aside from her physical presence, there is little more to her. Whilst admirable in his attempts, Wright’s film doesn’t quite live up to the hype, feeling oddly soulless, there is little beyond the veneer of bright, flashy lights.