Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldBy Karen Wilson
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references.
Genre: Comedy/Romance/Action Adventure
Release Date: August 13, 2010
Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes
Plot Synopsis: When Scott Pilgrim meets the blue-haired rollerblading delivery girl Ramona Flowers, he knows she's the girl of his dreams -- literally. That's because he recognizes her from the times she's used a metaphysical delivery shortcut that just happens to run through Scott's subconscious. But before the two can be a couple, Ramona informs him that Scott will have to battle her even evil exes in video game-style showdowns. And on top of that Scott also has his share of relationship baggage from Knives Chau, a 17-year-old who worships his band Sex Bob-omb, to Envy, singer for the very popular group Clash at Demonhead.
Sex/Nudity: Scott dates high schooler Knives Chu but they just hold hands and hang out after school. Scott goes on a date with Ramona Flowers and later on, when he walks into her bedroom while she is changing, they start kissing and get into bed together. They sleep in the same bed but don't have sex. Scott gets jealous of Ramona's exes and at one point resentfully asks if there's anyone at the party she hasn't slept with. Scott declares he loves Ramona, Knives declares she loves Scott. Scott and Ramona decide to give their relationship another try as the movie ends.
Violence/Gore: A lot of stylized video game-style action and when any of Ramona's seven exes are "killed" they turn into a pile of coins and points. At one point, Scott jumps through a window to avoid seeing Knives. One of Ramona's exes Todd punches Knives so hard the blue highlights fall out of her hair. Scott dies while fighting Ramona's most recent ex Gideon Graves but because he earned a second life during one of his battles, he returns to replay the fight a second time and defeats Gideon. In the final showdown, Gideon kicks Ramona down a flight of stairs.
Profanity: The characters use foul language very casually like "bitch," "cock" and "ass." When a character, like the mean Julie Powers, uses stronger language than this a black box appears over her mouth and the words are beeped out for comic effect.
Which Kids Will Like It? Teenage fans of the comic book series and pre-teen girls who are interested in love stories should find Scott Pilgrim vs. the World's depiction of jaded slacker romance engaging.
Will Parents Like It? Adults should be charmed by the movie's stylized visuals and its affection for arcade game culture, even though its whiny twenty-somethings can be a little annoying in their self-absorption.
Kaboose Review: With their visual storytelling and snappy dialogue, graphic novels seem perfectly suited to become movies. Their individual frames of action are tailor-made for the movie camera and the stories about caped super heroes are inherently cinematic. But Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series turned the graphic novel format on its head by focusing on ordinary 20-somethings in Toronto, Canada dealing with friendships and love.
In the original books, our hero Scott Pilgrim meets the girl of his dreams and over the course of six books must fight her seven evil exes in order to win her heart. British director Edgar Wright has very faithfully condensed the six books into one witty movie starring the new poster boy for disaffected youth, Michael Cera. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World looks and feels like a comic come to life and its sweet romantic story is jam-packed with clever details.
Scott Pilgrim is a 23-year-old living in Toronto who is perpetually falling in and out of love. When the movie begins his friends are mocking him for his newest girlfriend, a 17-year-old Chinese high school student named Knives Chau. She's clearly smitten with Scott and he reciprocates until he spots the mysterious new girl in town, Ramona Flowers, a blue-haired delivery girl for Amazon.ca. Ramona seems interested--coming to see his band Sex Bob-omb and kissing him in her bedroom--when one of Ramona's ex-boyfriends, Matthew Patel crashes the gig and challenges Scott to a duel to the death. Scott gives him and his demon hipster chick back-up singers the 60 hit combo and vanquishes him. It turns out that Matthew was part of a league of evil ex-boyfriends sent by Ramona's most recent ex, Gideon, to destroy Scott. Fortunately, all of Scott's video game playing will come in handy for this quest as each of the battles features music, graphics, points and tokens straight from the arcade.
Attention to detail was clearly the guiding motto for the filmmakers. Without seeming slavish, the movie takes whole chunks of dialogue straight from the books and mimics signature details like the identifying name, age and status level cards when each character is introduced. It melds together real world elements, like the smallness of Scott and his roommate Wallace's dumpy studio apartment, with epic fantasy in a really stylish way. So much cleverness could've resulted in a movie that felt detached, but as is usually the case in Wright's work (like the zombie parody Shaun of the Dead and the cult TV series Spaced), Scott Pilgrim has a disarming sweetness that's really winning.
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Cast: Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Ramona Flowers), Kieran Culkin (Wallace Wells), Chris Evans (Lucas Lee), Anna Kendrick (Stacey Pilgrim), Allison Pill (Kim Pine), Brandon Routh (Todd Ingram), Jason Schwartzman (Gideon Graves), Ellen Wong (Knives Chau), Aubrey Plaza (Julie Powers), Mae Whitman (Roxy Richter), Brie Larson (Envy Adams)
Karen Wilson is a freelance writer living in New York City.