Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is fast, funny, and inventive.

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Movie Info

Based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's Oni Press comic book of the same name, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World follows the eponymous slacker rocker on his colorful quest to defeat his dream girl's seven evil ex-boyfriends. Twenty-two-year-old Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) may not have a job, but rocking the bass for his band, Sex Bob-omb, is a tough job unto itself. When Scott locks eyes with Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), he knows she's the girl he wants to grow old with. But Ramona has some serious baggage; her supercharged exes rue the thought of her being with another man, and they'll crush any guy who gives her a second glance. Now, in order to win Ramona's heart, Scott will do battle with everyone from vegan-powered rock gods to sinister skateboarders, never losing sight of his gorgeous goal as he pummels his way to victory. Shaun of the Dead's Edgar Wright directs the film from a script he penned with Michael Bacall. Superhero veterans Chris Evans and Brandon Routh co-star in the action comedy as two of the seven ex-boyfriends. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Cast

Michael Cera
as Scott Pilgrim
Kieran Culkin
as Wallace Wells
Chris Evans
as Lucas Lee
Anna Kendrick
as Stacey Pilgrim
Brie Larson
as Envy Adams
Alison Pill
as Kim Pine
Aubrey Plaza
as Julie Powers
Brandon Routh
as Todd Ingram
Jason Schwartzman
as Gideon Graves
Johnny Simmons
as Young Neil
Mark Webber
as Stephen Stills
Mae Whitman
as Roxy Richter
Ellen Wong
as Knives Chau
Satya Bhabha
as Matthew Patel
Benjamin Lewis
as Other Scott
Ben Lewis
as Other Scott
Ingrid Haas
as Monique
Chantelle Chung
as Tamara Chen
Matt Watts
as Promoter
Christine Watson
as Demon Hipster Chick
Don McKellar
as Director
Emily Kassie
as Winnifred Hailey
Tennessee Thomas
as Lynette Guycott
Keita Saito
as Kyle Katayanagi
Shota Saito
as Ken Katayanagi
John Patrick Amedori
as Lollipop Hipster
Joe Dinicol
as Elevator Hipster
Craig Stickland
as Elevator Hipster
Marlee Otto
as Party Goer
Celine Lepage
as Party Goer
Bill Hader
as The Voice
Mark Leroy
as Party Goer
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News & Interviews for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Critic Reviews for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

All Critics (262) | Top Critics (42)

Full of fresh, sharp touches and nonchalantly brash performances, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World consistently hits the sweet spot.

Apr 12, 2013 | Full Review…
CNN.com
Top Critic

It's fresh, funny, inventive and unique.

Apr 12, 2013 | Full Review…
Newsday
Top Critic

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World becomes a fatal case of flash over substance. Pretty great flash, though.

Jan 31, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4

It could have been a noisy, flashy mess, but luckily it's got heart, which makes it feel fun and unique, and more like a lo-fi, endearing mess instead.

Aug 26, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

A 112-minute entertainment contraption -- celluloid that shapeshifts its frames into video games, comic books and sitcoms.

Aug 16, 2010 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

You need to take a step back to see the emotional heart of the story, an allegory of a generation struggling to exchange the solipsistic Xbox triumphs for awkward real-world love and empathy.

Aug 13, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

½

In my now-prehistoric review of Gregory's Girl, I argued that coming-of-age film are both thin on substance and have a limited lifespan. Films as varied as American Graffiti, Dirty Dancing and Pretty in Pink all revolve around the same old stories of young love and heartbreak; the ones that last are not just those that evoke their period, but which contain some kind of deeper truth about the process of growing up. Being a married man in his early-30s who has long since come of age, it is difficult for me to say how good Scott Pilgrim vs. the World will look in another ten years' time, when the gaming world has moved on and young people no longer talk like extras from Juno. All that can be said right now, eight years on from its original release, is that this is the one of the best coming-of-age comedies I have seen in a very, very long time. For starters, Edgar Wright has managed to make a film about video games which doesn't feel like a video game adaptation. The plot on paper does seem like a video game: defeat a series of bosses to win points and get the girl. But unlike, for instance, Tomb Raider, the film doesn't feel like you are watching someone else playing a game and expecting you to be interested. The fight sequences feel like natural continuations of the story, and the character development in-between is a damn sight more complex and insightful than the swathes of exposition in something like Silent Hill. The film has an extraordinary visual style which is somewhere between Tron and Sin City. Like Tron, you feel at moments like you are inside a video game rather than just a spectator. And as in Sin City, the film retains a very literal comic book structure, albeit without the dull pomposity of Robert Rodriguez's film. The video game elements in both the design and content of the battles are used to complement and enhance the conflict; the powers gained and used by Scott and his foes do not become distracting goals unto themselves. Like the comic it is based upon, Scott Pilgrim jumps from one form of reality to another without warning. There are many flights of fantasy which are either poignant or hilarious, and the film explores issues of love and death with a fascinating alacrity. It makes no bones about its comic book violence, shooting the battles in a playful and entertaining manner with minimal focus on any lingering amount of pain. We still believe the characters are in danger, but as in Christopher Nolan's Batman films there is no real need to demonstrate their danger beyond stylised forms of suggestion. Several moments in the film really stick in one's mind. Towards the end, Pilgrim is 'killed' by Gideon, the last of the evil exes played brilliantly by Wes Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman. He finds himself in some kind of desert, identical to the dream in which he first saw Ramona. He then uses the 'life' he had gained before to replay all the previous events and finally defeat Gideon. Having the exes shatter into piles of coins when defeated is ingenious, as is the spectacle of sound waves forming into two dragons and taking on a giant aural gorilla during the Battle of the Bands. Despite its large quantities of geeky references to video games and the like, the film gets away with it for the simple reason that it doesn't take itself too seriously. So many other films with video game elements fail as much from being po-faced as they do from being plotless. For all its visual style, Silent Hill is not scary, and for all its seeming intensity, Max Payne is not exciting. Scott Pilgrim, on the other hand, has an incredible and knowing lightness of touch. It drifts like its central character from one scene to another, paying enough attention to follow what's going on while still finding time to escape into fantasy and have fun. The film is laugh-out-loud funny from beginning to end, with jokes coming so thick and fast that you struggle to keep up or breathe. The humour comes in all shapes and sizes, from physical slapstick to witty one-liners. We have Wallace, Scott's gay roommate, who hits on everyone's boyfriends and can seemingly text Scott's overprotective sister even whilst slipping into unconsciousness. We have Todd, the third evil ex, whose status as an arrogant vegan has given him psychic powers. We have the Japanese twins, who look like a bizarre marriage between Kraftwerk and Siegfried & Roy. And we have all of Scott's embarrassing verbal slip-ups, such as confusing 'love' for 'lesbians' and asking Ramona if she's into drugs. Jokes like this drift very close to the more putrid adolescent comedies, like National Lampoon's Animal House, Porky's or Superbad. But despite all the moments where we cringe at the characters' actions, Scott Pilgrim is not out to make us wriggle uncomfortably in our seats. The more intimate scenes, including those of Ramona in her underwear, are shot with an underlying sense of respect. The film treats its female characters on a level playing field, not just by demonstrating they can fight as well as the men, but by refusing to fall into the trap of laughing at their misfortune during the break-up scenes. In the midst of all its belly laughs and eye-popping visuals, Scott Pilgrim is a very tender treatment of young love, demonstrating not just how to get the girl but how to deal with the baggage that goes with all relationships. Both Scott and Ramona have issues with commitment, with the latter admitting that she went through a phase of being a total bitch. And like in Gregory's Girl, there is the faint suggestion that the girl Scott falls for may not be the one he is destined to be with. In the original draft of the screenplay, which preceded the final comics, he ends up with Knives instead. In defeating the evil exes, Pilgrim is not just standing up to other people's demons but also confronting his own insecurities, and in doing so gaining self-respect. The film genuinely conveys the sense of heartbreak on both sides which comes at the end of a relationship, and it doesn't pretend that our heroes are perfectly compatible and therefore destined to be together. Ramona's changing hair colour and tendency to withdraw at crucial moments both represents the fragile nature of love and encapsulates the modern age of complicated relationships and how hard communication can be, despite (or perhaps because of) new technology. The performances in Scott Pilgrim are all of a high calibre. Michael Cera, who can be annoying, puts in his best performance since Juno, taking his familiar dweeby character and refining it to make Scott genuinely empathetic rather than simply pitiful. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is terrific as Ramona, possessing a sense of mystery while being completely natural and down-to-earth. Kieran Culkin is hilarious as Wallace, and Brandon Routh is very good as Todd, turning in a performance which is a million times more charismatic than his work in Superman Returns. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is one of the best films of 2010 and is destined to be a cult classic. It isn't quite a masterpiece, being slightly too long and feeling somewhat rough around the edges. It takes time to adjust to its peculiar execution, and it doesn't quite fail to put out Hot Fuzz as Edgar Wright's best film. But as a document of teenage love and insecurity, it edges out over Juno, and is therefore essential viewing for anyone in their early-20s.

Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer

though i haven't read the graphic novel seeing this film really makes me want to. Its definetly the most creative film ive seen in years. Great effects, hilarious jokes like the part where the chinese girl comes over and scott leaps out the window, it brings to mind the moment from the wizard of oz where the lion gets so scared that he runs out the window. i also love the use of classic video game noises such as the sonic the hedgehog ring collection sound, the mario shrink noise, and the zelda link to the past music and sound effects.

Michael Edwards
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

"It's not what you say ... it's how you say it, dearie." Words I've dreaded my whole life, that style wins over substance, but here's a film that argues just that point and definitely brings it's "A" game to the court, and frankly I'm left speechless. And this after a slew of films based on vidgames here at last is a movie filmed as if it were a vidgame. Simply a work of art, it will not go gently into that dark night of forgotten culture and might well be the one that all of the actors in it will be remembered by.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

This movie is so much fun!!! I dont even know where to begin. Totally new and offbeat.

John Manard
John Manard

Super Reviewer

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