Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Rated 3.0

A young slacker in Toronto (Michael Cera) is smitten by a recent arrival from New York (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), but before he can win her diffident heart, he must battle her former lovers, male and female, to the death. Director Edgar Wright’s movie (adapted by Wright and Michael Bacall from the graphic novels of Brian Lee O’Malley) has mordant wit and visual pizzazz, turning our hero’s incessant fights into mash-up homages to 1990s videogames like Super Mario Bros., Doom and Street Fighter. It’s diverting and good, dirty fun, but with a desperate neediness to prove itself the Hot New Youth thing that belies its too-cool-for-school attitude and feels a trifle unsettling, even unseemly. Cera carries the film easily, though with the exact same performance he’s given in every movie he’s ever made.