Take a dramatic musical in which the female lead, torn by her emotions, has to overcome all obstacles to be with the one she loves. Switch the genders of the main characters, replace the musical numbers with kung-fu fighting, and gear it towards the video-game crowd. The end result: Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, a geek trip brimming with inside jokes for an audience raised on Nintendo 8-bit consoles and Saturday morning cartoons imported from Japan.
After Amazon delivery person Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) skates through one of Scott’s dreams, he can’t get her out of his mind. He stalks her at a party and finally gets the information and nerve to stage a rendezvous at his house. Their relationship begins on at the bottom of a dramatic incline — Scott must break up with his current girlfriend and high school student Knives Chau and then take on the League of Exes, an evil group of Ramona’s past lovers who band together to keep Ramona from ever finding true love.
It’s flashy, fun, and comes with the sort of quirky humor found in Edgar Wright’s other movies (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz). The material is over the top, but Wright’s direction keeps it from floating away to absolute ridiculousness. There’s plenty of eye candy, but there’s more to this movie than what’s found at first glance. When Pilgrim starts to break under the pressure, Ramona wonders if he’s turning into another one of her evil exes. It’s the movie’s most serious moment and the point where Scott Pilgrim realizes the most important battle is against self.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
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Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Kieran Culkin