Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Scott Pilgrim vs the World Universal

Before we begin, in the unlikely chance a pre-Gen X/Baby Boomer is reading this, a bit of advice: This movie, and truncated review, is not for you. The references in both the movie and text might be a bit too low-brow and beneath your scope. But hey, there’s always The Expendables!

That being said, now back to your regular programming.

Ever wished for a film that was part Japanese manga and part 8-bit Nintendo video game? Neither did we. That’s like cooking an omelet with Pocky Sticks and Pokemon. Each is great in their own right, but blended together? Not so much.

Luckily, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), is able to blend both pop arts seamlessly, infusing a healthy dose of comedy and rock and roll, while delving headfirst into one of life’s biggest taboos.

When it comes to dating, successfully, things naturally start to turn a bit serious and a few things happen with this transition. Bases are rounded, respective friends are met, and conversations turn towards the past, at which the inevitable talk will happen. No, not the one involving the birds and the bees. That comes from your parents or the strange, grope-y uncle who reeks of cheap bourbon. 

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What we’re talking about is the one that involves your exes. As in how many of each do you have and whether or not any of them were unsavory characters. That’s what Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) explores, in-depth, with Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in this delightful, coming-of-age story. Sort of.

A bassist for local indie band Sex Bob-Omb (best name, ever), Scott Pilgrim ditches his younger high school girl for Ramona Flowers, a cutie more his age packing a lot more flavor (think Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, only not so depressing). But like all good catches, dating the Technicolor-haired maiden has a catch.

Make that seven catches. In order for Scott to win the love of his new flame, he must defeat seven of Ramona’s evil (aren’t they all?) exes by battling each, ala Street Fighter 2 meets Super Mario Bros. And with campy-slash-cute graphical fight sequences, digital-era-influenced hilarity ensues.

While not the deepest of films, it offers no pretenses to be serious. When’s the last time a movie with pixelized weapons opened at Sundance? Filled comedic moments, witty dialogue, and creative visuals, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a damn good time and worth the trip to the theater.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Romance
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1 hr. 53 min.
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans
Theatrical Release: Aug 13, 2010
Review: 8.5/10


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