Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

The titular world of Scott Pilgrim (Cera) is a small one after all, shaped entirely by video games, emo rock and arrested development (especially in matters of the heart). There's no room for any real growth, just literalized level-ups that bring our hero incrementally closer to his hipster Princess Toadstool, Ramona Flowers (Winstead), whose seven exes form a sort of league of supervillains that Scott must conquer.

It's supremely annoying to see the ups and downs of romance reduced to archer-than-arch line readings and bloodless mortal kombat. What's more frustrating is that the film, adapted from Bryan Lee O'Malley's popular comic, is an endless visual delight. Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead; Hot Fuzz) gives it the full Frank Tashlin treatment: Aspect ratios shift, colors vividly pop, sounds get accentuated with cartoon text (THONK! R-R-R-R-R-RRRRING!). This busy, yet rigorously controlled, palette demands and deserves endlessly slathered praise.

But it's all in service of hollow pleasure. Scott himself is more walking sight gag than character, and it doesn't help that Cera is on adorably coy autopilot. (He did this sort of thing better in the underrated Youth in Revolt.) Winstead is wonderful, even if her raison d'tre is to model a succession of neon-glow, primary-color hairdos. And the supporting cast certainly gives it their all---particularly Jason Schwartzman as big baddy Gideon, a music producer who seems partially modeled on Paul Williams's maniacal Swan from Phantom of the Paradise. Whenever he's onscreen, the movie's obsession with childish things seems closer to pointed satire than willful submission. Otherwise, GAME OVER can't come soon enough.---Keith Uhlich

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Geek love: Edgar Wright talks Scott Pilgrim

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Release details

Rated: PG-13
Duration: 112 mins

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Chloe W

I can't believe this movie only has a two-star critic review!! I recently rewatched this film at Syndicated and forgot how great it is! It's just so much fun - although yes, it helps if you're a specific kind of geeky.  Wright does a really good job keeping the tone consistent throughout. The video game inspired graphics are placed a good length apart so there is enough focus on the themes/emotional aspect of the film, but there are enough of them to emphasize the fun parts of the film.  Definitely consider watching this movie the next time you're staying in - or if it's playing at a theater near you!