We Love This So Much: Now you can see 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' in theaters again
It's time to rediscover that timeless wisdom: Bread makes you fat.
I speak of course about one of the best lines from Edgar Wright's 2010 movie "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," spoken in shock by Michael Cera, who stars with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and a who's who of bright young comedy talents. The film is based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's popular "Scott Pilgrim" graphic novels, and on Friday, it's getting a remastered anniversary re-release in AMC theaters, including in Austin.
If you've never gotten a chance to watch it, this incredibly Canadian tale finds Toronto townie Scott Pilgrim (Cera), a self-involved loser in a not-great band, become fixated on the mysterious Ramona Flowers (Winstead). But in order to date her, he must first defeat her seven "evil exes," battles that Wright films as visually delightful crosses between video game punch-ups and comic book pow-bang-zooms.
I remember seeing the movie when it came out — maybe at Barton Creek Square, but memory is slippery — and quoting it nonstop for the rest of college. (And though I surely can be annoying, it was not just me flinging around lines like "He punched the highlights out of her hair.") It's the kind of film that was a cult classic pretty much as soon as it left theaters. I remember seeing it again at the Texas Union the next year, in fact, and it's been a repertory stalwart at places like Alamo Drafthouse since.
For the re-release, the sound's been remixed in Dolby Atmos and the picture's been remastered in 4K. Wright told Entertainment Weekly that "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" looks and sounds better than ever before. "We had done this Dolby version for the 10th anniversary last August but obviously, everything was shut," the director told the outlet. "Dolby and AMC and Universal suggested bringing it out now because the cinemas need support and need product and I'm happy to help with that."
If you're a fan, you don't need convincing. If you're not, it's a great slice of early-millennium pop culture. Spot all your faves who would go on to conquer film and TV: Chris Evans (Captain America himself), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel herself), Aubrey Plaza ("Ingrid Goes West"), Anna Kendrick ("Pitch Perfect"), Ellen Wong ("G.L.O.W."), Kieran Culkin ("Succession"), Mae Whitman ("Good Girls"), Alison Pill ("Snowpiercer"), Brandon Routh ("DC's Legends of Tomorrow") and Jason Schwartzman (Jason Schwartzman), etc.
The film is jam-packed with eye-popping visuals and fun-as-hell set pieces. Consider Larson's perfect performance of "Black Sheep," a song from her character Envy Adams, frontwoman of the Clash at Demonhead and breaker of Scott Pilgrim's heart. (Canadian alt-rockers Metric perform the song on the soundtrack.) And every moment Evans rides a skateboard in this movie is a gift from Canadian god.
Like most things that were made in one era and were not immediately destroyed, there are parts of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" that benefit from reassessment with better minds in later years. For one, Scott's not supposed to be an aspirational character, and some (most) of his behavior is pure dirt-bag stuff. For example: dating a high-schooler, Knives Chau (Wong). And the film's handling of racial diversity and gender politics can be clumsy, full stop. (Oddly, the movie's handling of sexual orientation might be its best, especially Culkin's chill gay roommate, Wallace.)
And, I'll say it: The thing might be a hair long, upon reflection.
Nevertheless! If you're vaccinated and looking to get back out into the theaters, a souped-up "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is a fine toe back in the water. B.Y.O. bread. In Austin, it's playing at Barton Creek Square and Tech Ridge.
Eric Webb is the Austin360 entertainment editor for the American-Statesman. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter, @webbeditor.
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We Love This So Much is Austin360's recurring series of pop culture recommendations.