Teens who already love Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novels about the romantic, rock 'n' roll and video-game adventures of Scott Pilgrim will likely flock to the screen adaptation, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." And whether or not it's fully loyal to the books, it stands as a uniquely fun and fizzy experience, incorporating elements of video-game fantasy into the live-action story of Scott Pilgrim's (Michael Cera) wacky life. The premise gets a little tired by the third act, but not enough to spoil the experience.
The movie opens as a sort of glib, offbeat tale about a directionless 20-something guy who's out of work, dates a high-school-age girl (Ellen Wong), and plays bass with a garage band called Sex Bob-Omb. Suddenly, the movie flies off the screen into the video-game stratosphere (without being in 3-D!) after Scott falls for Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), whose hair is a new, unnatural color every day. Scott learns he must fight all of her ex-boyfriends in a surreal form of video-game-inspired combat in order to win her. It goes well until Gideon (Jason Schwartzman) turns up. He's not only one of Ramona's exes, but a recording executive who could help Sex Bob-Omb. Uh-oh. Scott must make a moral choice. And what about that other girl he abandoned?
The bottom line: The film is edgy, yet with hardly any profanity (except for one song lyric), bloodless special-effects fights, and no sexual situations. There are, however, many references to homosexuality, since Scott's sarcastic roommate Wallace (Kieran Culkin) is gay. At various points multiple guys share the bed in their apartment, but there's no sexual situation. There are also drug references and some drinking.