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How Scott Pilgrim Takes Off Stacks Up to the Movie (SPOILERS)

scott pilgrim takes off compare

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may not have been a mainstream hit when it came out in 2010, but it has gained a massive — and passionate — cult following in years since. The new Netflix series Scott Pilgrim Takes Off may seem like another needless reboot, but it’s actually one of the most enjoyable new series in quite a while.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the first couple episodes of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. If you want to go in with as unspoiled of an experience as possible, STOP. READING. NOW.

How Scott Pilgrim Takes Off compares to the movie

The first episode plays out as if Scott Pilgrim Takes Off will be a more straightforward adaptation of the source material. It follows the same meet cute that Scott has with Ramona, and then leads up to the battle with Matthew Patel, the first in the League of Seven Evil Exes. But there are a few differences. Like, instead of delivering for Netflix’s sort-of competitor Amazon, Ramona delivers for Netflix DVDs. And oh yeah… SCOTT LOSES THE FIRST BATTLE TO MATTHEW PATEL.

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scott pilgrim takes off
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (L to R) Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off . Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023

You heard that right, in the first episode, Matthew Patel triumphs over our hero Scott Pilgrim. It is at this point that it becomes clear that Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is entirely its own thing — refusing to be bound by the story fans have come to love. The remaining seven episodes become a wild mystery comedy that takes plenty of unexpected twists and turns, and we’ll be leaving those unspoiled for you to discover them yourself.

Yet even though the series doesn’t follow the same story as the movie or graphic novels, it’s very clearly cut from the same cloth. It helps that the series is co-written by Bryan Lee O’Malley, who wrote the original set of graphic novels, but Scott Pilgrim Takes Off perfectly captures the humor of the IP as well as its wonderfully quirky personality.

There’s also a very strong meta angle to this series that becomes even more pronounced in the later episodes. It feels fitting, as some of the greatest gags in the movie were those that leaned into the conceit of the audience watching a movie. And of course, there are some great callback gags that fans will immediately pick up on.

scott pilgrim takes off
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (L to R) Mark Webber as Stephen Stills, Alison Pill as Kim Pine and Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim in Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2023

One of the biggest draws of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is that the cast from the movie all returned, despite many of them becoming A-list stars in the more than a decade since the film was released. And impressively, it still feels like each and every one of them is still having the time of their lives — especially Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Chris Evans, who seem to be particularly enjoying the chance to get to go goofy again.

The chaotic energy of Scott Pilgrim also lends itself well to the anime style of animation that Scott Pilgrim Takes Off features. Admittedly, the video game aesthetic that Wright brought to the film felt less-serious there than it does in the animated medium, but there’s still a lot of inspired, fun visuals to be found.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is undeniably going to be a delight for fans of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but even more surprising is how well the show manages to stand on its own and do its own thing. The result is the newest must-watch show on streaming.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is now streaming on Netflix.

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Written by Sean Boelman

Sean is a film critic, filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include music documentaries, heist movies, and experimental horror.