Round one, fight: BIFF BAM SLAM WHAM KAPLAM. Yoga flame, sonic boom, hadouken, collect coins, advance to next level. GAME OVER. Insert coins to continue.
SPVTW (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) is a rom-com more in common with a music video crossed with a video game than a movie.
The main character Scott, played by ever straight-as-an-arrow Michael Cera, starts going out with a new chick he goes gaga for but turns out he must fight Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat-style her seven evil ex-boyfriends. Natch!
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It’s set in ‘reality’ but regularly spirals into mad, crazy-in-the-coconut, post-modern panache — post-post-modern, really — drawing attention to conventions. When Scott beats the baddies they turn into puddles of coins that he collects, ala Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog.
The film is ridiculously edited and ludicrously over stylised, but its energy trips the light fantastic. I’m pretty sure it was edited by Astro Boy. It’s the third corker from Edgar Wright, after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
Style over substance? You betcha, but what style — the director grabs the joystick and goes nuts. The atmosphere is electric, eclectic — ECLECTRIC — with enough throwbacks to video games to over-excite geeks everywhere.
It’s got a heart, too, and people who have played the dating game surely see it as exactly that — a kind of game. Maybe that’s what inspired all this video game madness. POW BLAM FATALITY ROUND 2 ENTER MORE COINS TO CONTINUE.