Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman, Keita Saitou, Shota Saitou
Screenplay by: Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright
Directed by: Edgar Wright
What do the films Super Mario Bros (1993), Street Fighter (1994) and Mortal Kombat (1995) all have in common? If you think that the answer is that they were all shit movies based on computer games, then you would be correct. Now if you were asked why you thought they were shit, what would you say? Was it because they were all made in the '90s perhaps? Well if you said that then you'd sadly be wrong, because Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Doom (2005) were made in the '00s and they were equally as shit as their computer game-based cousins who cropped up ten years before. So the only possible outcome at this point then would be to presume that films featuring computer games just don't work. Right?
Well no, not exactly. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World which was based on a comic, featured computer games and was a brilliant movie. A brilliant movie indeed!
It was directed by Edgar Wright (you know, the bloke behind Shaun of The Dead & Hot Fuzz and who is always talking about Ant-Man) and was a mix of Dragon Ball Z, Tekken 2 and those quirky graphic novels that cool kids rave over. For those not in the know, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was based on a series of graphic novels from Bryan Lee O’Malley that told the story of hero Scott and his epic quest to date the quirky Ramona Flowers.Oh and an epic quest it was too, because dating Ramona didn’t just involve taking her out for a slice of pizza and a Diet Coke (yep that’s what you get if you’re on a date with staff at The Comics Code), it actually meant having to battle Ramona’s SEVEN...EVIL... EXES in a series of brutal brawls to the death! One-by-one the exes arrived and as each one attempted to stand in Scott’s way, he had to defeat them in order to get closer to Ramona. The movie pretty much condensed the entire run of books into one coherent story, that saw Scott have to tackle an unhealthy number of past lovers (Ramona's, not his) and he did it thanks to a little help from the world of computer games!
Using the basis of a 'beat 'em up' game (ie a game where players work through levels beating bad guys up along the way) the comic that the film was based upon practically came to life on screen, in a way that no other computer game adaptation had ever achieved. The story of Scott's journey worked perfectly within the gaming inspired environment and by the end of the movie if cinema audiences (or you at home reading this now) didn't feel like bashing a joypad, then clearly it should be game over for you!The fight scenes were so OTT that audiences were left feeling as if the characters had been plucked out of the story and chucked into a scene from Mortal Kombat (the game, not the awful movie) and it was clear from the opening few seconds of the film that Scott Pilgrim Vs The World was something completely different to what had come before.In fact audiences hadn't seen it before, because it wasn’t just a film/comic/game combo, that offered something new to the comic-book movie genre, it was the first time that anyone had solved the problem of putting computer games on screen. The thing is computer games have stories that work within the perimeter of the playable game; with spaces between story beats for players to be able to take control of the game. When translating these stories to the screen, in order to turn the games into films, it often means having to fill in the gaps, which is where huge plots holes come in and things go tits up. But there was where Scott Pilgrim Vs The World blossomed, because it wasn't a computer game, it was a comic; it just used computer games to help make it work on screen. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World proved, if you have an already established story that works perfectly well for comics, then there is absolutely no reason why it can't work well for a movie featuring computer iconography. Heck who doesn't love seeing comic-book characters getting beaten until they explode into a shower of coins? And especially when the roles were taken by actors like Brandon "I was once Superman" Routh and Chris "I like to play every Marvel superhero going" Evans, who actually pretty much stole the movie. Scott Pilgrim didn't just bridge the gap between comics and consoles (two things that should be part of everyone's lives) it also proved that comics could help improve what appeared at the mulitplexes, especially where computer games came into the mix. It may not have been a 100% computer game adaptation (which is good, as we wouldn't be looking at it on The Comics Code), but what it was, was a great comic-book movie that scored big where it counted!
PRESS CONTINUE: *Although the film was titled Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, that was only the title of one of the books that the film was based on. The first book in the series was actually titled 'Precious Little Life'.
*As Mentioned above, Chris Evans has played iconic Marvel characters the Human Torch and Captain America.
*A game based on Scott Pilgrim Vs The World was released on Playstation and XBox. Not surprisingly it was titled Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game.
*Despite receiving largely positive reviews, Scott Pilgrim fell short at the box-office and didn't manage to recoup the cost of its budget upon its initial release. It may have been a great film, but even Scott couldn't tackle a lack of attendance at the cinema.