Scott Pilgrim vs. the World


I was born in 1980. As a kid, I watched a lot of cartoons, I played video games (Atari, Nintendo, and eventually Super NES), I collected comic books, and I was into action movies something fierce. As I grew older, I also became a huge fan of music and of, well, girls.

The above is not a self-indulgent intro but a way of telling you how “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World” seems to have been made specifically for me and everyone of my generation who more or less carries that same pop culture baggage. Adapted from the Bryan Lee O’Malley (born 1979) series of graphic novels by Edgar Wright (born 1974), who was already one of my favorite directors because of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” but who totally outdoes himself here, this movie is basically all I ever loved packed into two hours.

Michael Cera stars as the titular Scott Pilgrim, the geeky bass player for the Toronto-based band Sex Bob-omb. Even though he’s still not quite over his break-up with Natalie (Brie Larson) and is currently dating a 17-year-old Chinese schoolgirl (Ellen Wong), everything changes when he meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the cheerleader from “Death Proof”), a crazy/beautiful hipster goddess he falls desperately in love of with, in spite of the disapproval of his band-mates (Mark Webber and Alison Pill), his bitchy gay roommate (scene-stealer Kieran Culkin), his sister (Anna Kendrick), the girl at the record store (Aubrey Plaza) and just about everyone else.

Worse, to win Ramona’s heart, Scott will have to fight defeat her seven evil exes: Bollywood mystic Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha), pro skateboarder/movie star Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), psychic vegan bass player Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), bi-furious half-ninja Roxy Richter (Mae Whitman), electro music-playing twins Kyle and Ken Katayanagi (Shota & Keita Saito), and record label executive/club owner/League of Evil Ex-Boyfriends leader Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman)…

Between its countless hilarious one-liners, its badass fight scenes and its surprisingly insightful and touching look into modern relationships, “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World” could be described as a cross between “Juno”, “Kill Bill” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Brilliantly directed by Wright, who uses all kinds of clever visual tricks, inventive transitions and spot-on sound effects to keep us constantly enthralled, the film can also rely on a stellar cast in which everyone shines, starting with Cera and Winstead, who make quirky aloofness into an art form and who end up truly making us care about their rocky road to potential happiness.

I could go on and on about all the awesome little touches that fill the film, about the bloody great soundtrack (which include songs composed by Beck, Broken Social Scene and Metric for the fictional bands in the film) and so on, but I think I’ll leave it that for now. This is as smart, original, involving, exciting and fun a flick you could ever hope for. I already can’t wait to see it again!