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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

A 2010 American action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright based on the comic book series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

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Player One, Fight!

  • Aug 13, 2010
If you love action, if you live for comedy, if you get a nostalgic high from the electronic beep-boop sounds of eight-bit arcade games like "Pac Man" and "Space Invaders," then "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is the movie for you. This is mindless filmmaking at its best - no messages, no agenda, no introspection, just pure juvenile fun from start to finish. It's adapted from the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley, but its style really owes more to video games, the structure fast and frenetic, the music loud and pulsating, the battles cool and choreographed, the visuals bright and bursting with creative digital effects. Watching this movie was a little like watching the 2008 adaptation of "Speed Racer," a woefully underappreciated film that stirred within me sensations of excitement and awe. Simply looking at the film was an experience unto itself.

Michael Cera plays the title character in his usual unassuming way, perpetually caught in that gray zone between shy nerdiness and loveably eccentric. But then there are those select moments when he becomes an amped-up video game hero, fighting his opponents as if channeling his inner martial arts instructor. It's a surprisingly seamless transition. The only thing missing from these moments are shots of hands holding a game controller, the thumb of one hand furiously flying over the A and B buttons, the thumb of the other hand scrambling to push the up, down, left, and right arrows in the correct order. I've long since grown out of video games, but I fondly remember the days of the original Nintendo and Super Nintendo systems; my summer days were often spent in front of the TV, me trying to navigate Mario on his quest to save Princess Toadstool from the evil Bowser.

I digress. Before Scott Pilgrim becomes a video game character, he's the bass guitarist for a Toronto-based band called Sex Bob-omb (a reference to "Super Mario Bros.," thank you very much). Although he's twenty-two years old, he's dating a seventeen-year-old high school student, the always cheery Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). His band mates and their tagalong fan (Alison Pill, Mark Webber, and Johnny Simmons) disapprove. So does his gay roommate (Kieran Culkin). Then he meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), an American with a mysterious past and a routine of changing the color of her hair every couple of weeks (it goes from pink to blue to green). The two form a connection of sorts; one could even call it a relationship. Scott, of course, fails to tell Ramona about Knives. Likewise, he doesn't tell Knives about Ramona. This will no doubt come back to haunt him in due time.

But before that can happen, he must contend with Ramona's past, which literally comes crashing down onto him. Six guys and one girl, known as the League of Evil Exes, all challenge Scott video game-style for Ramona's affections. Basically, he must defeat them all if he's to continue dating Ramona. I will not describe every ex, nor will I describe every battle. I will say that the digital effects are put to their best use during these scenes. Every punch, kick, jab, and push makes a sound that's literally spelled out over the characters' heads, much like in the 1960s "Batman" series. Players summon forth advanced moves and supernatural abilities. Points rack up before our eyes. A one-up eventually floats in front of Scott, looking much like a "Super Mario Bros." mushroom. Best of all is when an opponent is destroyed - their bodies explode in a mass of quarters.

Two especially memorable Evil Exes are played by Chris Evans and Brandon Routh. The former is a hotshot movie star who talks like a cross between Steven Segal and Clint Eastwood and is aided by an entourage of stunt doubles. The latter is a strict vegan whose diet has earned him super special abilities, such as glowing white eyes and the ability to read other people's thoughts. Villains are always so much cooler than the heroes. In this case, they're also quite a bit funnier, their rivalry with Scott overshadowed by their over the top personality quirks.

As is the case with most video games, it all comes down to the final boss. His name is Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman), and he raises the stakes by putting not only Scott's life on the line, but also the future of Sex Bob-omb. Scott is eventually forced to reconsider his feelings for Ramona, since there seems to be a very dangerous pattern in her dating history. Is it her he must save? Or does he have to save himself first? Whatever the case, you can rest assured that it will involve a lot of bonus points and extra lives. No pause button, though. No need for one. "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is a film that beautifully draws you into a fast-paced frenzy; to slow down would be to miss the point entirely. Like a real video game, it's an action-packed, colorful blur of sight and sound. I don't think I've had more fun at the movies all summer.

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May 23, 2011
Great review
More Scott Pilgrim vs. the World reviews
review by . August 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Let THE EX-BATTLES Begin in This Zany, Bizarre, Action-Packed Romantic Comedy!
We’ve all had nightmares about our girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends; some make us feel insecure, some make us feel proud while some…well, makes us forget about the whole thing. But hopefully, none of us have experienced being assaulted by the hordes of ex-boyfriends of the person we are dating. Well, those who are familiar with the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley may still have a hard time preparing for the film adaptation “SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD”. …
review by . June 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
After 16 years of slamming Hollywood studios for never getting our video game movies right, we finally have one that gets it exactly right. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a video game movie, even though it doesn't have a basis in any actual video games.     Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is more of a visual and cultural tribute to video games than anything. Every other element of the movie, including the plot, takes a backseat to the list of power bars, status updates, and special …
review by . December 12, 2010
In terms of actors today, Michael Cera is kind of overrated. He plays the same character in every single movie he's in: the awkward, geeky teen who's either anxious to lose his virginity or just be generally geeky. That doesn't mean that every once in a while, he can turn in a good performance, and Scott Pilgrim is definitely one of them. This is an incredibly awesome movie, and epic of epic epicness indeed. It's also kind of hard to put into words unless the person you're talking …
review by . January 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
This movie grabs your attention from the display of the Universal Logo.  The Universal theme music is like  the sound of an old video game.   Scott Pilgrim seems to drift from dream to reality and the scenes rapidly shift with written text to explain who the various characters are.       Scott is in a band with an ex-girlfriend and two other friends.  He lets them know that he is dating Knives, a 17 year old Chinese girl.  Everybody seems against …
review by . August 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Scott Pilgrim Saved my World
SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD   Written by Michael Baccall and Edgar Wright   Directed by Edgar Wright   Starring Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick and Mary Elizabeth Winstead      Stacey Pilgrim: Are you legitimately moving on or are you just being insane?   Scott Pilgrim: Can I get back to you on that?      By the time you reach a certain age, if you’ve tried at all to make connections with other human …
review by . August 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Just imagine for a second that your life is a video game.  One where the potential exist for you to beat up bad guys, live each new day of your life as though it were a level where you score points, get extra lives and pull off amazing stunts because you simply can.  This is exactly what Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is.  A movie that turns the life of one young man into a video game.  It's zany, it's over-the-top but it's a lot of fun.  If you don't like Scott …
review by . August 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Scott Pilgrim ROCKED my 8-bit world!
I heard about the Scott Pilgrim movie about 2ish years ago and my response was: No... no way.  How can they even begin to capture the pure epic awesomeness of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series Scott Pilgrim compressed into one movie?  It can't be done.  Wait?...  What is this you say ... Michael Cera's going to play Scott Pilgrim?  The cutie pie guy that fans the flames for geek girls everywhere?  Well that changes everything.      …
review by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Spoiler-Free Sneak Preview: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
One of my projects is watching Rotten Tomatoes' list of the worst movies of the last decade and, in doing so, I've pontificated at length on the misery that is movies based on video games. To recap: there are a bunch on the list, many are directed by Uwe Boll (perhaps the worst director of all time), the most critically-acclaimed video game movie ever is the not-so-great Mortal Kombat. Video game movies usually take themselves too seriously and fail by having to stick to story lines that …
Quick Tip by . February 05, 2012
Action, Romance, Comedy and filled with homage for all the things we love; this film is just a rockin’ good time! This stands as one of my favorite comic book adaptations and a refreshing change from all the super-hero movies that have plagued us of late.      C’mon, how can you resist a super-powered Vegan with telekinetic powers?      See Full Review here.     
Quick Tip by . January 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Surprising sleeper hit. This is one of those movies that seems like it was as fun to make as it was too watch.
About the reviewer
Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #2
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a 2010 American action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright based on the comic book series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The film is about Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) meeting the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to win Ramona over, Scott learns that he must defeat Ramona's seven evil exes, who are coming to kill him.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was planned as a film after the first volume of the comic was released. Director Wright became attached to the program and began filming in March 2009 in Toronto, Ontario. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World premiered after a panel discussion at the San Diego Comic-Con International on July 22, 2010. It received a wide-release in North America on August 13, 2010.

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    Director: Edgar Wright
    Genre: Action, Adventure
    Release Date: August 13, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Studio: Universal Pictures
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