Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, written by Edgar Wright and Michael Bacall, based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley, directed by Edgar Wright, starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, and Alison Pill (2010): With its disappointing box office take, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World became a cult hit pretty much the day it was released. Directed by perennial Simon Pegg collaborator Edgar Wright (Spaced, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) and based on the series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim is a zippy, meta joyride in which Toronto gets to stand in for…Toronto.
Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has to fight the League of Seven Evil Exes to win the hand of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a rollerskate-wearing, Amazon.ca delivering alt-chick from the United States. The battles play out as a series of homages to superheroes and third-person fighter games, with the loser turning into points (and coins) when defeated, and with extra lives occasionally being awarded for particularly good play.
Of course, Pilgrim has other problems. His band, Sex Bob-omb, is competing in a Battle of the Bands competition; his current girlfriend, 17-year-old Knives Chau, is blissfully unaware of Scott’s love for Ramona; Scott’s history of dating pretty much paints him as a thoughtless crud. Will Scott Pilgrim defeat the bad guys, break up with Knives, and learn a valuable life lesson that makes him a better person? Wright makes the whole thing poppy and zingy and fast, much like Spaced — the pop-culture references proliferate almost as much as the T.O. references, making this a Wayne’s World for the 21st century. Sorry, but that’s the best comparison I can think of. Actually, the underrated Wayne’s World 2. Highly recommended.