I only read the first volume, and a skimmed the entire story on wiki. From what I understand the story is certainly much more dense. But I believed that Edgar Wright got the tone, while cutting some of the material to fit in a well made film.
Remember that Spill review of the Chun Li Street Fighter movie, like how Korey would have wanted a more fantastical movie. Well now there is no need for another Street Fighter movie, because Edgar Wright already made the perfect Street Fighter movie. All the action scenes and pop culture visual motifs are Grade A eye-candy experience thanks to Bill Pope, the cinematographer of the Matrix films. Only a few films reached this caliber of graphical visual fun and excitement, like the Crank movies, Run Lola Run, 300, and Sin City. Any fan of Comic Books, Anime, and Video Games will love the crap out of this movie.
This film achieved what most films based on Anime and video game haven't. There are always comic books words, video game stats, and anime style backgrounds maintaining that a fantastic visual style that is so unique. The fight scenes are wonderfully choreographed, making it the best action movie of the summer. They are all ludicrous comical, similar to the tone of the action climax of Hot Fuzz; where the action is not supposed to be realistic but just uphold the Rule of Cool. Scott Pilgrim is basically the scrawny nerd version of Ash Williams, always doing something that’s totally awesome and badass, as well as taking some abuse.
Thankfully, the fun and colorful character prevent this film from being another George Lucas CGI boredom. They ground the bizarre and nonsensical elements of the film into a solid romantic comedy. Michael Cera is probably his best here; he's more energetic and has decent comedic, not as friggen annoying like in his Hipster movies. Maybe Edgar slaps the shit out of him to prevent Michael from being too boring. The brother of the Home Alone kid, Kleran Culkin, is friggen awesome as Wallace Wells, Scott Pilgrim's gay roommate and voice of reason. Also it’s nice to see a Gay film character performance that is not obnoxious flaming like in that annoying Bruno movie. Although Mary Elizabeth Winstead could be less deadpan in her acting, Allison Pill as Kim Pine already filled that role as the deadpan snarker perfectly. But Winstead was mysterious enough to be intriguing to me. The evil ex's are played so over the top you can't help but laugh out loud. Two of the evil ex's are played by Superheroes icons Chris Evans and Brandon Routh, and they were awesome. But it’s Satya Bhabha that steals the show as the first evil ex, who ate most of the scenery. The rest of the cast is solid as well.
The comedy is rapid fire, for every joke miss, there is another in the chamber; most of them hit the target. The pace gets to be fast; hardly a dull moment in the majority of the film, but there some nicely placed slower intimate moments. Maybe I would gave a "Better Than Sex" rating if there was a heavy metal music instead of punk, but the Bass guitar duel was pretty cool. The first 15 minutes is decent but not great, I heard similar complaints from the comic. This is placed in my top 4 movies of the year behind "Toy Story 3" "Kick-Ass" and "Inception."
Along with "Army of Darkness", "Monty Python and The Holy Grail", and "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension", and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", Scott Pilgrim will have its place in nerdy cinema. I am however are not sure whether or not this will be a success with the mainstream. People over the age of 35 are going to have a hard problem following and comprehending this movie; except those that understand and are still a part of geek culture (I.E the "Funny Book Boys" Leon and Cyrus) But the jokes don't really require the audience to have an encyclopedia knowledge of geek pop culture, and the action is appealing enough. The nerdy stuff is really just the frame of a Romantic Comedy, much like the zombies were in Shaun of the Dead.
A very high full price.