Scott Pilgrim vs the World was probably my favorite movie of the summer. There I said it. To not see Scott Pilgrim would be to rob you of something special, a fun, entertaining, exciting, excellent film that is the epitome of a summer movie.
The project itself was a perfect storm for a movie. The much loved source material, the graphic novel from Bryan Lee O’Malley, the talent behind the camera, Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), and a great cast. From my understanding, the film was so close to the source material, they even shot at locations that O’Malley drew from life for the graphic novel.
The film begins in Toronto, 22 year old Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is dating a high schooler named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), and playing in his band Sex Bob-omb (a reference to Super Mario). The band is practicing to compete in a battle of the bands. It isn’t until Scott meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), when things begin to get a bit interesting, as during their first performance for the battle of the bands, Scott suddenly has to fight the first of Ramona’s seven evil exes.
The film is a plethora of video game and popculture references, from Seinfeld to The Legend of Zelda. You literally have a smile on your face the entire time, this IS the ultimate nerd movie. Michael Cera, our hero. My worry for Cera is that he is going to continue to play the awkward teenager, but there is a variation here. Scott Pilgrim is kind of a jerk, he’s leading Knives on, while starting a new relationship with Ramona. It’s a good twist on Cera’s usual “character.”
The supporting cast is great, Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) plays Scott’s sister, and Jason Schwartzman (as the final evil ex) is a delight.
The visual effects work here is stunning, and the fight scenes call out to the anime the sequences are inspired from. The fight scenes are actually quite excellent, not that Michael Cera has a future as the next Van Damme, but he carries himself well.
So in short, Scott Pilgrim has my vote for one of the best movies of the summer, do yourself a favor, see this movie this labor day weekend, before or after you see Machete.