It is bad enough having to deal with the ex-boyfriends of a love interest’s past. It is even worse when there are seven of them who are apart of an evil league hellbent on your destruction. I mean we’ve all been there right? Or has it only been me? Well this movie takes this concept and thrusts it into a whole different level. Part romance and part live action video game, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is unlike any movie you have ever seen and will be perfect for those of us who grew up on Nintendo.
The story begins with our protagonist Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), an awkward 23 year old who still hasn’t gotten over his last major relationship. He ends up leaving a string of broken hearts behind him in an attempt to get over her. Now just because he is the hero of the film does not mean he is likable. He is immature, impatient, and at times oblivious of how his selfish actions affect those around him. That is kind of the point of the film though, we see the character grow and learn a valuable lesson by the end. Scott meets Ramona Flowers (the lovely Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and his world is turned upside down as he obsessively must date this mysterious, pink haired, girl. He finally gets his opportunity only to find out that all seven of Ramona’s evil ex-boyfriends are apart of an evil league determined to control Ramona’s love life. He must fight and defeat them not only if he is going to keep dating Ramona, but if he is going to stay alive as well.
The movie plays out exactly like a video game with fantastic, bright,and stylized visuals. Whenever a battle is about to commence the camera switches to a side view like the old 2D fighters accompanied by a flashy “VS” graphic between Scott and the Ex he is about to face, which I really got a kick out of. It pays homage to the classic games in many different ways actually, like having Scott Pilgrim’s band be named “SEX BAH-BOMB” referring to the bah-bombs of Super Mario.
He works his way up the ladder of exes with each one presenting a new challenge and a different set of powers, forcing him to figure out different ways of defeating them. My favorite would have to be Brandon Routh, this guy is a great actor and gets way too much crap for Superman Returns. Seeing him as the psychic powered, vegan, ex was a real treat. Chris Evans (Future Captain America) does a great job as well, playing the cocky movie star ex. In fact every evil ex is an enjoyable presence on screen, even the ones who get less attention than others.
Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) can now add one more comedic/action packed masterpiece under his belt. This movie is funny, exciting, and visually amazing. The stylized effects feel otherworldly but are grounded to reality in a way that will never take you out of the film. The fights are very well choreographed and fast paced, believe me it is no easy task to make someone like Michael Cera look believably badass yet they pulled it off. Though at times you really want to smack Scott Pilgrim, you can’t help but cheer him on as he fights against all odds and begins to learn some rather invaluable lessons about life and love. If you are older than thirty you may not enjoy this movie as much as those of us who grew up with our Nintendos, anime, and have a slight case of A.D.D. However if you have been waiting for a fast paced, live action video game, romance, extravaganza then come August 13th 2010 it will be on like Donkey Kong. I give this one a 9/10.