My pick for the one to watch this week is, without a doubt, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” Based on the cult comic book of the same name, the movie follows the plight of Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) as he battles his girlfriend’s (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) seven evil ex-boyfriends.
While Michael Cera has become somewhat of a polarizing figure (i.e. Is he a one-trick pony or a comic mastermind?), he isn’t my number one reason to keep an eye on this film. Reason Numero Uno: Edgar Wright, of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” fame — if you haven’t seen those movies, you’re missing out on the vanguard of the comedy genre — is directing.
The movie looks geeky, fresh, and hilarious. Wright’s style, judging from the trailer, has undergone a dramatic shift. Whereas “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” were absurd conceptually and thematically, “Scott Pilgrim” explodes in bursts of insane visual flair. Cera’s fights with the exes are rendered with a mixture of old-school cartoon zaniness (onomatopoeias like “SMAK,” “WHIP,” and “KPOP” materialize in mid-air) and an unapologetically nerdy video game aesthetic (some of the shots look like they came straight out of “Mortal Kombat,” and the soundtrack definitely borrows a cue or two from some NES classics).
In addition to Cera and Winstead, the cast features Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation,” “Funny People”), Kieran Culkin (“Igby Goes Down”), and Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air,” “Rocket Science”). In short, the whole thing looks like a ball … a giant ball of magma hurtling towards your face at the speed of light.
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” hits theaters August 13.