Who's In It: Michael Cera, Mary Elisabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, Jason Schwartzman, Kieran Culkin, Mark Webber, Alison Pill, Johnny Simmons, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Brie Larson, Mae Whitman
The Basics: Toronto-based slacker Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), mop-topped bassist for the band Sex Bob-Omb, is perfectly happy courting a teenager until the day Ramona Flowers (Mary Elisabeth Winstead) roller-skates into his life. The only hitch, besides having to dump the enamored Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) for his surly pixie dream girl: in order to date her, Scott must first defeat all seven of Ramona's evil exes… in duels to the death! Director Edgar Wright brings Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel to life with flair and video game stylings that'll have the Nintendo generation going ZOMG! Everyone else (folks 40 and older, or anyone who doesn't know what a 1UP is), go see Eat Pray Love or The Expendables.
What's The Deal: After demonstrating a talent for witty direction and pop culture savvy in his previous movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, director Wright proves himself an expert technician with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, surely one of the most visually dense pieces of pop cinema ever made. Thoughts dissolve into dreamy asides, villains explode into showers of coins, animated hearts dance across the screen when characters kiss, all in a nonstop flurry of graphics and 8-bit sound effects that create Scott Pilgrim's unique fantasy world. And if you're not too distracted by everything Wright throws at the screen, you might even feel a thing or two about Scott's love 'em and leave 'em romantic crisis of conscience. One thing's for sure: If you didn't have ADD going in, you will surely experience something akin to it during this 112-minute "epic of epic epicness."
What's Not Quite Epic About Scott Pilgrim (Or, Go Team Knives): His romantic arc. To put it bluntly, Scott Pilgrim can be a thoughtless tool, embodying all the reasons why your mother warned you never to date a bass player. While the film is dominated by Scott's obsession with Ramona Flowers and his series of dynamic showdowns with her demented evil exes, it glosses over his d-bag treatment of poor Knives Chau until the very end, when Scott owns up to his romantic misdeeds once and for all. If it wasn't for Michael Cera's dopey charm, we might all hate Scott Pilgrim and his careless emo heroics.
The Best Of The Evil Exes: Chris Evans turns in a comic highlight as Lucas Lee, Ramona's skateboarding ex turned Hollywood actor, as does Brandon Routh as the super-powered vegan who thinks he's better than everyone else. Mae Whitman's appearance as Ramona's lone lady ex is another high point, especially for Arrested Development fans who realize they're watching a martial arts showdown between George-Michael Bluth and Ann Veal. Even Scott Pilgrim's romantic past comes back to haunt him, in the form of Brie Larson as Envy Adams, the brittle lead singer of the best band in the world, Clash at Demonhead.
Listen Up For: Old-school Sonic the Hedgehog audio cues, the 8-bit version of the Universal Studios theme song, and the killer Clash at Demonhead song performed by Metric, which leads one of the most solid soundtracks of the year.