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“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is the latest film from Edgar Wright (“Hot Fuzz”, “Shaun of the Dead”). Itʼs a film adaptation of Bryan Lee OʼMalleyʼs six-volume graphic novel. The film has just made its way to Ephraim and itʼs a lovingly-crafted tribute to those tired of your typical movie experience. Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera (“Juno,” “Nick and Noraʼs Infinite Playlist,”) complete with all of his usual, quirky charm is a 23-year-old Canadian lazy boy. Heʼs in between jobs, living across the street from his parents, in a local band and dating a high schooler. Such is Scott Pilgrimʼs precious little life. That is, until he meets the girl of his dreams. Played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ramona Flowers is the pink-haired badass who enamors our perky protagonist. Among the getting-to-know-you pleasantries of Scott and Ramonaʼs first date is the caveat that Ramonaʼs love life is currently being controlled by seven evil exes - each of whom Scott must defeat if he wishes to win Ramonaʼs heart. Itʼs a romantic comedy thatʼs very rooted in video game culture. Sure, youʼve seen your share of romcoms - theyʼre a dime a dozen nowadays - but the vibrance and charm of Scott Pilgrim sets it apart. This is a gamerʼs idealized romantic comedy. Confrontations are setup like end-level boss battles, characters have unexplained skill in hand-to-hand combat, and thereʼs a bevy of iconic video game jingles and sound effects from the Sonic the Hedgehog “ring” noise to the dream-like ambience of Super Marioʼs water levels scoring our descent into Scott Pilgrimʼs life. Itʼs a love letter to every nerd child who grew up daydreaming of someday saving the girl. While that may sound too niche for wide appeal, there is so much pop-culture here that itʼs hard not to find a little bit of something for nearly everyone. Ramonaʼs evil exes run the nasty has-been gamut with everything from a washed-out pedant hipster to a condescending, psychic vegan. If that sounds overwhelming, then consider this your proper initiation. The presentation here does more to include than exclude. If nothing else, Scott Pilgrim boasts appeal in its several well-choreographed action scenes with direct clash between Scott and the evil exes, which are heavily stylized through comic book-like callouts that embellish the glitzy color palette. The dreamy ability of everyone to take an inordinate amount of pain creates a sort of polite Canadian kung-fu rivaling action movie favorites. If youʼre against romantic mush, maybe youʼll appreciate watching Scott ring a comic 64-hit combo. The concept is inherently humorous. Michael Cera, whether you find him annoying or adorable, is a master of comedic timing. Since his days as the young George Michael, heʼs been honing his style of exuding a steady awkward charm, and Scott Pilgrim may well be his prime vessel. Cera will never be better at being himself than he is here. Still, Scott Pilgrim is a romance at its core. Itʼs a lightning-fast exploration of the emotional stages of a relationship that manages to never trivialize the weight of the strife, no matter how kitschy it gets. Scott may be punched through a cascade of brick walls, but that doesnʼt mean he canʼt express his frustration to Ramona over this literally painful emotional baggage affecting their relationship. There really is nothing quite like Scott Pilgrim. Whatʼs clear is the people behind this movie cherish the subject material, and should that be so much to ask? For a unique night out at the movies, do yourself a favor and go see Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.


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