Scott Pilgrim vs The World is about a 22 year old Canadian named Scott Pilgrim. He is a part of a band called “Sex bomb-oms,” he’s dating a high schooler, and life for him is going along steadily until he meets American Ramona Floweres. After hitting it off, the two decided to start dating. However, if the two are ever to stay together, Scott will have to fight Ramona’s seven evil exes.
The most notable thing about this film is its visual style, going for a mix between comic book diegetic lettering and framing, while incorporating the tropes of arcade cabinet and 8 to 16 bit eras of video games. The film will achieve this effect by shifting the aspect ratio, which is especially noticeable during dream sequences near the start of the film, as well as fight sequences throughout the film. During the fight sequences, the soundtrack will change from an alt rock soundtrack – with the exception of Todd and the Katayangis – to hybrid between face paced 16- bit adrenaline and hard rock. The visual style of the film will then go into overhaul as it starts to represent that of a fighting game – vs. start screens, combos, K.O’s, etc.
During the not fighting sequences, the director, Edgar Wright, takes whatever visual and diegetic sound he can control in order to most efficiently achieve the best way to communicate its humor. This includes, but is not limited to, characters being in one scene, only to disappear to the next, as to imply quickly moving from the current conversation, characters sentences being cut off, only to cut to the place they were talking about, characters leaving the set in the funniest way possible, or even some visual gag that involving a character tension by having him mix up his word. And that is just the tip of the ice berg at the extent the film will go to deliver on its humor.
There are only two nitpicky things that I noticed during the film, both technical. One was during the fight with Todd Ingram’s stunt doubles where it was obvious that that shot was edited with post production zoom and panning. There was another near the end of Roxie’s fight were Scott and Ramona are talking quickly to each other while the world move in slow motion, and it really obvious that they just slowed down the audio and didn’t pitch shift, so the audio file comes up as stretchy and echo-y. These don’t ruin the film, but they are worth pointing out.
Scott Pilgrim is one of those films that you see the occasional commercial for back when you were twelve, only to finally watch it years later to realize that it was better than you thought it was going to be. Through the way it communicates its jokes, to its stylized fight sequences, it is a pleasant surprise to watch on your first viewing, and a delight that gets better and better th more times you watch it.