It didn’t take much beyond the opening credits and my jaw dropping open to know I was going to adore Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Yes, on the surface it may look like yet another Michael Cera vehicle. While we’ve come to love him as George Michael in Arrested Development and couldn’t get enough of films like Juno, Superbad and Youth in Revolt – that just wouldn’t have been the same without Cera, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World elevates him to a whole new status. He’s officially a superhero now.
By now you might know the schtick – the lovesick Pilgrim as it were, has lost his girlfriend to rock stardom and a blond vegan. He’s licking his wounds, playing bass in a band and holding hands with a 17-year-old named Knives Chau with whom he plays video games and frequents record stores. His best friend and nosy sister (played perfectly by Kieran Culkan and Anna Kendrick) are keeping him in constant check – a serious source of comedy.
But Scott’s trouble’s don’t really begin until he quite literally sees the girl in his dreams. Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) changes the color of her hair by the day. And she’s got quite the past to escape. In it are seven evil exes. In order to win her favor. Scott Pilgrim must defeat all of them, using various feats of strength and super powers.
The film, based on the graphic novel Scott Pilgrim Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, by Bryan Lee O’Malley, does a fantastic job of blending a hilarious and engaging plot with alternately kitschy and eye-popping special effects, frenzied fight scenes and plenty of good vs. evil fodder.
It may all boil down to who gets the girl, but the story builds in such a way you can’t wait to see how the next character introduced might out-do the ones who came before him. And well, casting Jason Schwartzman as Gideon Graves was just poetry. Trust me.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World opens today in Detroit area theaters. See it at the Birmingham Palladium.
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