Graphics novels are ripe for film treatments and many look just like storyboards, allowing moviemakers to jump start the creative process. Most graphic novel-based films tell the story but shed the visual style of the original work. A few have tried to present a hybrid view, notably Sin City and Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy, but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the first to offer up a unique hybrid where the action, the visuals, the sets and even the scene transitions mirror the style of the original artwork.
I found Scott to be a hugely likable character, and remembered many of my own awkward early 20’s post-college experiences as the film progressed. There’s also a fascinating ambiguity about when the film is set: Ramona is a delivery girl for Amazon.ca, yet Scott and Wallace have a rotary dial phone in their studio apartment. In one of the most brilliant scenes, Scott walks into the apartment and we then see, adventure-game-style, a small text pop-up appear for each item, showing that Wallace owns almost nothing. In a similar manner, each time a new person shows up in the film, their name and a rating (“cool”, “hot”, etc) appears on screen for a few seconds. When Scott urinates, we see a “pee bar” slowly empty.