Scott Pilgrim is an unenthused, slightly lazy, jobless 22-year-old guitarist and video game enthusiast. Everything seems to go be going smoothly, if slowly and not in any particular direction, when Scott meets Ramona Flowers, a girl with crazy hair, giant boots, and a reputation for being "hardcore". Quite literally the girl from his dreams, Scott - not thrown by the fact that she claims to use his mind as a shortcut to travel around (nobody in this universe is ever thrown by that sort of thing) - pursues her with a charming indifference to her enthusiasm. Just as things seem to be going his way, his affections - and their relationship - are put to the test by each of her exes. Everyone has a past, but Ramona's exes are evil, superhuman, and numerous - there are seven of them, all committed to fighting our skinny romantic to the death.
So begins this "epic of epic epicness" (the movie's tagline) across Toronto, with Scott battling his way through the videogame of life, using his fists, his guitar, and a cup of coffee to defeat muscly skateboarders, lightning-fast goths and psychic vegans, amongst others. It is equal parts fantasy, romance, and what seem as though they are the frenzied imaginings of hyperactive, video game obsessed twelve-year-olds, occasionally only navigable because of pauses in the action for a character to offer an explanation accompanied by comic strips and wistful melodies. Ironically, perhaps, its 12A certificate means that twelve-year-olds would have to take a parent along to see the film. Still, it's for the best. Mild violence, sexual 'innuendo' and a whole League of heartless villains hell-bent on killing our hapless protagonist makes this film adult enough for grown-ups (preferably those with a hyperactive child inside).
It's not all insanity and irrelevance, either. The intimate moments and tense conversations between Scott Pilgrim and the object of his affections are the same in style (if not precisely in content) to any new couple working out their issues in a hostile world. A scene that illustrates that takes place when Scott collapses onto the sofa in front of his friend and roommate Wallace, in agonies because he can't cope with Ramona's spontaneous change of hair colour, convinced that it points to their incompatability.
The film itself is admittedly not really concerned with making a serious point. Whilst the plot (once you have accepted the premise) is a little bit predictable, the characters, battles and script are definitely not, with almost every opportunity to crack a joke or break up a tense scene fully exploited. It's unlikely that Scott Pilgrim... will result in a spate of 'Best Actor' nominations for its cast, but if you have fond memories of playing retro video games, or are simply looking for a lighthearted and uplifting way to spend a couple of hours, you'll probably find this very enjoyable. I certainly did.