5 Ways It’s A Comic Book Movie (& 5 Ways It’s A Video Game Movie)
Edgar Wright is one of the most exciting and visually ambitious filmmakers of this generation and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is one of his most fascinating and richest films. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World tells a story about romance and growth, but presents the ordinary story in a anything but way. Scott pilgrim is a classic example of film that was not appreciated when it was released but comfortably became a cult classic a decade later.
It is also a film that has a head start in terms of comic book adaptations. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is one of the most affectionate comic book movies, but it’s also such a passionate love letter to video games that makes it a unique hybrid.
ten Comic book movie: it’s literally adapted from a graphic novel
Context is everything and obviously video games are incredibly important to both Scott Pilgrim the character as well as series writer Brian Lee O’Malley, but Edgar Wright’s film evokes a comic book feeling. because it is literally an adaptation of a comic strip.
It might seem like a benign detail, but it plays a role here and it makes a difference in how Wright adapts the source material from O’Malley. Yes Scott pilgrim had started out as a video game, so Wright would certainly have taken a slightly different approach.
9 Video game film: its very structure resembles a video game
There are a lot of video game iconographies that consume Scott pilgrim, but it’s hard to deny its influence on video games when the whole structure of the movie stems from the video game plot. Scott must defeat seven evil exes as if they were the bosses of a video game.
Scott literally accumulates points and gains an extra 1-Up life that he can use to resurrect himself and replay the experience, only to emerge victorious this time around. Scott is better the second time around, as are players when they play a level for the second time.
8 Comic book film: it follows the comic book style exhibition
There is a certain language in the comics that becomes second nature to those who regularly enjoy this medium. There’s a very peculiar way the comics introduce characters and dispense exposure, which feels natural in the medium, but is awkward in a conventional movie.
however, Scott pilgrim absolutely follows these comedic clips. Panel type bios adorn the characters and the film pulls tricks from O’Malley’s graphic novel. Likewise, there’s a way that video games give exposure that the film could have taken on, but doesn’t.
7 Video game film: the film is filled with video game references
Video games are filling up Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World all the time. There are overt references to video games, such as the list of game libraries distributed by Young Neil or the use of THE Legend of Zelda music as a smart auditory trigger.
There’s even a chiptune version of the movie’s theme that concludes the movie’s end credits. Beyond those surface references, there are also more subtle video game references like how the groups in the film, like Sex Bob-Omb and The Clash at Demonhead, are nods to Nintendo titles. There is an obvious passion for this in the very DNA of the film.
6 Comic book movie: it has an animated comic book sequence
Edgar Wright likes to mix different styles that reflect his different influences as a filmmaker and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World indulges in this compulsion in a fun way. The film is incredibly faithful to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel, but it pays an extended tribute to the creator with a flashback scene it’s done in the style of O’Malley’s comics.
This comic book-style backstory for Ramona is a fun change of pace, but there’s no alternate animated footage to look like a video game. The comics prevail here.
5 Video game film: video games are an integral part of the plot
It’s one thing a movie often refers to video games, but Scott pilgrim actually uses them as important plot points and triggers for character development, as that’s the only language the regressive Scott understands.
Scott’s performance on the Dance Dance Revolution-esque team game becomes a barometer of his relationships, he frequently turns to a Pac-Man anecdote as an icebreaker, and his enemies even turn into money upon defeat, which Scott can actually use. His emotional growth literally rewards him with a flaming sword which he uses to overcome real threats in his life.
4 Comic book movie: its cut and cinematography create a comedic sensation
All of Edgar Wright’s films are visual masterpieces, but Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World uses so many tricks that are now the norm in superhero and comic book movies. There is a style to Scott Pilgrim’s a montage and cinematography that intentionally create the feeling of looking at panels in a comic strip.
Wright superimposes information about himself to act out in comedic archetypes and even in the the editing of the film is made to accentuate this feeling. There are references to video games, but stylistically it looks a lot more like a comic book.
3 Video game film: its benchmark opening and ending video games
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World throws a lot at the audience, but from the start it bombards the audience with an overwhelming video game aesthetic. The film begins with an 8-bit version of the Universal logo, complemented by a chiptune version of the iconic music.
This sets the tone perfectly, but the film also ends with a poignant “Continue? screen that completes a perfect metaphor for video games. Even the very end of the end credits includes a street fighter reference where an 8-bit Scott beats “The End”. The audience thinks about video games at the end of the film.
2 Comic book movie: action sequences draw more from comics than video games
After decades of comic book movies, there is now a certain visual style and a certain language that has established itself. The same is true with video game movies, to an extent. Scott pilgrim engages in a number of exaggerated fight sequences, many of which hint at video games, but their presentation style is immediately reminiscent of comics and superheroes.
It’s easy to watch Scott pilgrim and see Wright as a natural candidate to direct a superhero movie and why he was briefly in charge of The ant Man. Scott pilgrim is a crash course on how to create unique and effective comedic fight sequences.
1 Video game film: it has become a video game
Video game adaptations for movies are not uncommon, but they can often come across as empty cash foreclosures. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a rare occasion where gaming demands a video game. the Scott pilgrim the video game is a retro side roll similar to something like Streets of rage.
It’s a stylistic decision that is another confirmation of the respect and passion there is for video game support. It works very hard to meet requirements which are largely only important to the gaming audience and this makes it the priority rather than just fans of the film.
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