Synopsis: Edgar Wright's exuberant adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's celebrated comic book series centers on unambitious indie rock dude Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and his elaborate video game-informed battles against the seven evil exes of his new love, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).
My Take: Let's stop talking about why Scott Pilgrim vs. the World "failed" at the box office and start talking about its unrivaled awesomeness (this summer at least) and creative success. First, this is the movie Edgar Wright was born to direct. O'Malley's clever story is only improved upon by Wright's unique visual style, hyper-paced storytelling, and gift for sly comedy and pop culture references. Second, this is the role Michael Cera was born to play. Scott is a slight and lazy milquetoast, but Cera brings a rush of energy, commitment and sensitivity to the role that makes you root for him all the way to the end, especially during the brain-melting fight scenes.
I've read complaints that the love story between Scott and Ramona isn't fleshed out enough and that it feels like nothing is really at stake during the fight scenes. That might be true on paper, but the romantic relationship on the screen feels real – it's casual, messy, floundering and ultimately refreshing. A lot of that has to do with the great performance (Winstead is believable and unforgettable as Ramona) and the movie's deft balance of video game and comic book fantasy with more traditional indie rom com tropes. And the fight scenes? At first, Scott's single motivation to fight is survival as he keeps getting jumped by a never-ending parade of douchebags. But he later finds a greater meaning in the battle, and it's not just to win Ramona's heart.
So, yeah, go see it already. Or go see it again. I don't want to give anything away, but I will tell you that it's the most fun I've had at the movies all summer. And the music! Oh, the music! OK, I'm running outta space here ...
Recommended if you like: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, High Fidelity, 8-bit nerdery, and sweet sweet eye candy that will make you cry your own tears, but the good kind of tears.