Scott Pilgrim vs My Movie Review


I’m in a tough place here. On the one hand, I’m a huge fan of the Scott Pilgrim comic series. On the other hand, I just saw the live action version starring Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and I’m a fan of that, too. So how shall this movie review go down? Like this, yo. Let’s rock!

Time for a throwdown! Go Scott Cera go!

Immediately after finishing the first volume of Scott Pilgrim, I came to the conclusion that I’d really like to see it in some sort of live action context. I used to produce short segments for my university’s variety program, so I figured, “Hey, maybe I should do this?” Then I looked up a big more on Scot Pilgrim and saw that someone else had already beaten me to it (Edgar Wright) and cast Michael Cera in the titular role of an epically awesome-looking movie. I mean, just check at that first trailer, or any trailer really, and it’ll be hard to have any sort of patience waiting to see the real movie.

I was happy the instant the movie started. The usual previews rolled by, and Kyle and I turned to each other to give our five-second reviews of the trailers like, “Oh yes, that looks pretty cool,” or “Why are they making this crap?” Then suddenly the Universal logo came on all digitized with chiptunes sound and I knew the movie was starting right. The very next thing that happened was the intro music from Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past playing to introduce us to Scott’s little slice of Toronto. If this doesn’t let you know that everyone involved in the project “got” the graphic novel, you probably meant to go watch Eat, Pray, Love instead.

The movie plays out, more or less, as a Cliffnotes version of the six books. I was completely fine with this for a few reasons. First, I realized that six books worth of material wasn’t going to be able to make it onto screen, particularly things that just don’t translate well when jumping from a comic to a movie, such as a long interlude in the books where Scott goes on a nature sabbatical and has a bunch of introspection with Kim. Secondly, I knew that the movie just wanted to be its own thing anyway, and while it stays relatively close to the book’s plot, it changes a few things around as it sees fit.

I really want Edgar Wright to do a Drgaonball movie by the way.

The biggest change from the books to the film is undoubtedly the resolution, as I’m aware pretty much every other review is pointing out. The ultimate ending is still the same, but the final sequence changes fairly radically compared to how the book plays out. I’m okay with the change, but I’ll get into whether I preferred the book or the movie in just a little bit, so hold on.

In terms of matching the characters to actors, they nailed this one almost as closely as they could. Everyone acts and looks like his or her respective character, though my initial hesitation of Michael Cera as Scott carried through even till the end of the movie. I just couldn’t like him as much as the comic version. He did his usual Michael Cera character, a character I still like well enough, and it worked about as well as it needed to, but he didn’t feel like Scott Pilgrim; He felt like Michael Cera in a Scott Pilgrim movie.

The best casting choice would have to be Kieran Culkin as Wallace. Every time Culkin is on camera, you’re guaranteed a laugh. Alison Pill also hit Kim Pine pretty closely, to my surprise. I’d list off all the good casting choices, but I’d just end up listing off the whole cast. My two favorites were Culkin and Pill whereas my least favorites were Cera and to some extent Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers. She did just fine, but her hair was bugging me the whole time, so maybe that wasn’t really her fault.

Seriously, how did they do this good with the cast?

Okay, action sequences. Holy cow, the action sequences were awesome. They’re even better than I could have hoped. Edgar Wright took his directing duties to the max and it shows here with gusto. Even if you can’t connect to the plot or the main characters, there’s always something cool to look at. It’s about as close as you’ll get to watching a comic happen in real life.

So did I like the movie better than the comic? I don’t want to feel like a snob, but I preferred the ending of the comic over the movie’s final act, just because of how overly epic the book gets. This isn’t to say I didn’t think the movie was freaking excellent, though, because the movie is freaking excellent. Even the little nit-picky things I brought up like Cera cast as Cera is just me searching for things to whine about. Scott Pilgrim vs The World is the best movie adaptation anyone could ever hope to make from the source material, and it’s one of the best movies currently playing now or overall for this year. Go see this movie. Scott Pilgrim wins movie. Game Over.

Want more movie reviews? Check these out:

The Last Airbender

Toy Story 3

Dragonball: Evolution

How about more Scott Pilgrim? We’ve got that, too:

Comic Book Club: Scott Pilgrim Books 1-5

Scott Pilgrim, Where Are You?

Comic Book Club: Scott Pilgrim Book 6


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.


  1. Yeah, I have a few words on HP7:

    I read the book series and thought that books 1-4 were great, 5 was worthless, 6 was a disappointment, and 7 was an awful conclusion, purely because we kept hearing about the cool things happening elsewhere in the world while Harry and his two friends had a campout.

    I don’t care if the excuse the producers of HP7 use for two movies instead of one is “The book was so long we decided to split it into two parts,” because there were longer books in the series that didn’t get split into two. And for that matter, other movies, such as Lord of the Rings, retrained themselves to the one book=one movie principle, even though Return of the King could have easily been two parts. HP7 is in two parts because the producer want more money, and that bothers me. I haven’t even found the interest to see the sixth movie, so I’m passing on this two-part cast-in.

    Scott Pilgrim, on the other hand, is worth every cent for every re-watch. I can’t wait to go see it again at the end of this week.

  2. great reveiw scott pilgrim is pretty awesome but when you mentioned HP7 i wanted to know if you had any words on it??

  3. I did see Shyamalan’s new movie trailer. Yeah, they need to stop letting this guy make movies.

    I don’t think I’d like Scott Pilgrim as either a two parter or a trilogy. I get bugged when they extend a movie just because they feel they can (Harry Potter Book 7), so I was actually pretty happy that Scott Pilgrim stayed a one-movie deal. I don’t think it would have worked if they tried to include every little detail from the books. Besides, this just means there’s a definite reason to read the books, even if you’ve seen the movie.

  4. Excelent review Chris.
    I actually have to kinda agree with you about Michael Cera. I mean, Scott Pilgrim is such a universal character that almost anyone our age would only dream of playing (I’d want to play Scott Pilgrim) and then they give it the most overused young Male actor that is not named Shia Labouf. Not only that, a young male actor who’s played bacically the extact same character for the last five years. Yet Scott himself is almost like a parody of all of MC’s previous roles, so maybe it worked out.

    I personally liked Keiran Culkin as Wallace the best. I love that guy (NOT in a homosexual kind of way) While I thought Kim was hilarious, she didn’t get the chance to grow as a character like she did in the books (I for one LOVED the Nature symbatical scene from vol.6) she was very 2-Dimensional.

    Envy was perfect too, but there again, same problem Kim had, but even worse. It bugged me that they gave all her greatest moments or lines away to other charcters, like making her weakness Roxie’s Weekness (Roxie was awesome too!)instead of doing the epic Ninja Gaiden sceen from vol. 4. Or having Ramona say “lets both be girls” to Gideon, which Envy origionaly was suppose to say to Tod.

    To be perfectly honest, the biggest gripe about the movie I have was that it was so short lived. It was such a good movie, but I cant help but think it could have been an epic trilogy, or even just an awesome 2-parter. All seven evil ex’s did such an excelent job, and any one of them could have been the final boss of their own movie.

    That, and the fact that the movie is indoubtably going to be bulldozed in the box-office by some shitstorm (yes I’m quoting Moviebob here) called The Expendables, and some uninspired chick flick called Eat-Pray-Love.

    I do agree that Edgar Wright shoud be making Dragonball movies. I actually heard that DE is actually getting a sequel. Which I will probably watch simply because the first one was so rediculously off, it was hilarious, and I just want to see what more they are going to do (and if when they get to the Sayans that they really will cast Hulk Hogan as Nappa.)

    P.S. See the trailer for M. Night’s new movie. I for one am hoping it’s good. Simply on the grounds that if it does well, maybe he’ll realize where he belongs in the industry, and let The Last Airbender franchise go, so that Paramount can give it to someone with actuall experience doing fantacy action movies. How about the guy who directed The Prisoner of Azkaban? He’d be perfect.

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