Movie Review: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Fast-paced comic-book adaptation starring Michael Cera

How’s this for a nerdy set of references: sound effects from The Legend Of Zelda, the songs of ’90s Canadian indie band Plumtree and fight choreography from Japanese anime. These are the weapons Shaun Of The Dead director Edgar Wright has amassed for his 112-minute assault on Hollywood.

Based on the comics by Bryan Lee O’Malley, it tells the story of Toronto-based wet blanket, Scott (Michael Cera). A bass player in local garage band, Sex Bob-Omb, Scott does little else ’til Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) moves to town. She just might be exactly the fuchsia-haired, dimension-bending girl he’s been waiting for, if only he can get over her complicated romantic past.

You’d ordinarily expect a drip like Scott Pilgrim to sit in coffee shops talking of his relationship insecurities at length. Mercifully, this is not that movie. Instead, he must confront Ramona’s history in the form of Street Fighter-esque battles with her seven evil exes, a league of emo-styled superheroes who say things like, “You punched me in the boob!”

Wright launched his career directing Spaced and this might be the closest he’s come to the cult sitcom since. The humour is still fused from non sequiturs and it focusses on the unemployed. Only now Wright has at his disposal a cast of Hollywood’s hottest young things and a six-figure post-production budget.

There’s no question he got value for money. The Nintendo-homaging graphics are relentless, the supporting performances are hilarious, and the music for the film’s (fictional, alas) bands has been provided by Beck, Broken Social Scene and Metric.

In fact, there are so many goodies on screen, and they zip across it so fast, that your senses will struggle to keep up. Be warned: post Pilgrim, sensibly-paced films may no longer cut it – like a particularly enchanting ex, he’ll ruin the rest for you. Ellen E Jones