Scott Pilgrim vs The World Blu-ray review

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Videogames make awful films. For each game-to-film transfer that attains adequacy, there are half a dozen ugly, grinding, Boll-standard hack jobs. Yes, games and films should stay well away from each other. Except now there’s Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Not strictly a videogame movie (it’s based on a series of graphic novels), but it will still revive your hopes for games on the big screen.

The setup is as arbitrary as any Mortal Kombat backstory. Geeky bassist Scott (Michael Cera, doing his best awkward thing) meets Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the pink-haired girl of his dreams. But there’s a hitch to their happiness: to date her, he has to defeat her seven evil exes. Each has a different fighting style and stage, leading up to the skeevy boss played by Jason Schwartzman.

Though the mumblecore cast is never in danger of being mistaken for a group of action heroes, sharp cuts and sharper wit keep things fast and funny.

Real life in Scott Pilgrim is like a game, with aesthetics straight out of classic cartoonish beat-’em-ups. It looks great: defeated enemies explode in showers of coins, extra lives pop up as pixelated icons and fights feature the kind of overpowered special moves that show why polygons are so much cooler than real people.

There’s an unfailing supply of one-liners, meaning the bits between the battles are even more entertaining than the fights. If you watched director Edgar Wright’s sitcom Spaced, you’ll recognise the style: savvy sight gags and offhand, absurdist quotes. (See how long it takes before you declare yourself “in lesbians” with something.)

The romance is sweetly flawed, even though a cynic could call it wish fulfilment for socially incompetent boys. There really isn’t a perfect indie princess for everyone, but at least there’s now a beat-’em-up movie that doesn’t make you utterly ashamed of your joystick.

Sarah Ditum

Our Score

Score: 8