Overview: Scott Pilgrim meets the girl of his dreams, but in order to date her he must first defeat her seven evil exes in a fight to the death. BOSS BATTLE! Save your game and heal first. Universal Pictures. 2010. Rated PG-13. 112 Minutes.
XXXXXXX: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is the movie that the 8-bit generation has always wanted. Director Edgar Wright adapted the film from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series. He takes the comic book hero plot, mixes in a garage-band rock vibe, and pays grand homage to old school video games. Remember the Super Mario and Street Fighter film adaptations and how much they sucked? Scott Pilgrim almost makes up for those. Almost. They were really terrible.
The Fight Scenes (Boss Battles): All of battles with the seven evil exes feel epic and follow the typical video game boss formula. Every enemy has a different weakness and Scott (Michael Cera) must adapt and exploit those weaknesses. The quick, complex, and fluid fight choreography is comparable to the best American action movies. All those memories and that sense of accomplishment from conquering baddies will come rushing back.
8-Bit Humor: The video game allusions here are endless: 8-bit Universal logo and theme, enemies explode into coins, “pee” life bar, Ninja Ninja (Dance Dance) Revolution, music from the Legend of Zelda, 1-up, Scott plays the bass line of Final Fantasy II/IV, K.O., Nega Scott, Mario/Sonic/Zelda sound effects, bob-ombs, Shoryuken, G-Man, Finish Him, and many, many more.
The Edgar Wright Effect: All of Edgar Wright’s distinctive signatures are present: snappy dialogue, montages of quick actions, repeating visual references, jump cuts to show time lapses. They’re all here. And the application of these signatures with the video game references and honest treatment of the source material all blend together for a palatable combination.
Repeat Viewings: The movie features a wide range of pop culture references and hipster jokes in addition to comics and video games. Viewers will be rewarded with new observations in each repeat viewing. There is always something else to see and the movie is endlessly re-watchable.
Watch This Movie If: You like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, video games, comic books, or you were an 8-bit child.
Final Thoughts: Scott Pilgrim is unique, fun, and entertaining from start to finish for video game, comic book, and stylish film fans alike. As the credits roll it leaves viewers with a wide, toothy grin and a warm, funny feeling inside, before we hit play and watch it all over again.