Image: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World poster. Copyright Universal Pictures.
Dear nerdlingers, have I got a movie for you. Ever dreamed of a film directed by the genius behind Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead based on an indie comic about 20-something slackerdom and filled with video game references both obvious and subtle? It may sound too goddamn awesome to exist in the same universe as Twilight: Eclipse, but such a thing is real, and it’s called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It is sad indeed that I needed to tell you that, but not many of you seemed to notice. The film only grossed $10.6 million in its opening weekend. Let me try to convince you why it deserves so, so much more.
I’ll try to avoid spoiling too many of the specific video game winks and nods which exist within Scott Pilgrim, but hear this: the film opens with music ripped straight from Link to the Past. If your Nintendo nerd boners haven’t reached full mast yet, then consider this: Scott plays the bassline from Final Fantasy II.
Video game influence doesn’t just show up in the thrill provided by easy references. The story of Scott Pilgrim is told with the frantic, illogical logic of games. The movie’s pacing rapidly accelerates when Scott finds out he must battle his way through the seven evil exes of his new love interest, Ramona Flowers. No real explanation is given as to why this is the case. Even less of one is given for the remarkable powers most of the characters in the movie possess (like wielding flaming pixelated swords and traveling via sub-space). All of this is in glorious homage to the games which inspire the film, where fun holds significantly more value than adherence to reality.
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