Scott Pilgrim swiftly one-ups the competition

Movie ReviewThe Suburbs★★★★

Warning: In a largely disappointing summer movie season, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World rises as a unique, supremely satisfying take on the action genre that may cause grinning and a bad case of the LOLs.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World chronicles the sad yet strangely epic life of the title character, played by Micheal Cera. A Canadian slacker and occasional guitar player for the unsuccessful band Sex Bob-omb, Pilgrim spends most of his life hanging out with his high school-aged sort-of-girlfriend, Knives (Ellen Wong), and bumming around the apartment he shares with his riotous gay roommate, Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin).

Pilgrim's life takes a turn toward awesome when he meets and falls instantly in love with the colorfully-haired Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), at a party. Unfortunately, love isn't easy, and Pilgrim quickly learns that more than his social awkwardness stands in the way of his new romance.

Enter Ramona's seven evil exes. To win Ramona's heart, Pilgrim must first win a fight to the death with each of them, but can he do it?

The answer: yes. But how? With little explanation or concern for the laws of physics, Scott Pilgrim takes to the sky in high-flying fight sequences à la old-school video games like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter.

For gamers and non-gamers alike, the high level of energy, color and comedy - especially in the first two battles - is a treat for the senses, and even as the style loses its novelty towards the middle of the movie there remains more than enough flair to keep people watching.

While Scott Pilgrim is half action tale, the other half is an oddly riveting romantic comedy complete with relationship hurdles and kooky side characters. No one in the movie is incredibly intricate or fleshed-out, but the cast is uproariously engaging and entertaining and adds a slightly more human element to the over-the-top, sugar-high genre.

Scott Pilgrim the movie is, ultimately, a lot like Scott Pilgrim the character - spazzy, hilarious, surprisingly strong and just looking for a little bit of love. Even with its high-energy opening and slower second half, the movie and its namesake deserve our adoration.