Put simply: Scott Pilgrim is a blast! The total package is a wildly comic journey into the head of a true original. If you are under 25 you will find all of it really, really funny. For those stick-in-the-mud oldies knocking on 30 and beyond it may be hit and miss, but it's their loss because this graphic novel adaptation about a guy pursuing the unobtainable girl of his dreams in pure kung fu fashion is a dizzying, dazzling, loud ride with a cast of characters you won't soon forget. If the choice for its targeted young demographic is Scott Pilgrim vs. anything else, go with Scott, dudes. It's a good time and should prove to be star Michael Cera's biggest hit in a while, eclipsing the sort of similar (if more pretentious) Nick And Nora's Infinite Playlist, which traversed the same young, singles, romantic landscape but without the half a dozen kickass fight scenes thrown in.
Director Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead) has managed something unique. He brings a pure comic book sensibility to a comic book movie with bright colors, kooky characters, hilarious onscreen dialogue and oddly pertinent truths about a generation born into texting but, like everyone else, longing for a human connection. It all revolves around Scott Pilgrim (Cera), an unemployed, likeable doofus who plays guitar for his band, Sex Bob-Omb and falls head-over-everything for the "girl of his dreams," the cutely named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Ramona will become obtainable only after this meek 22 year old guy manages to summon his inner-Jackie Chan and dispatch her seven evil exes who are on their way to eliminate him. With the very large but (in Wright's hands) distinctive cast of characters that include vegan rock stars, skateboard/action movie stars and even a pair of twins, Scott knows that he must conquer them and his own insecurities before ever getting to first base with Ramona...Okay second base.
Cera's career isn't known for breaking new ground. Here, he's still playing the deadpan, slightly nerdy, amusing, loser-in-love, but he's perfectly cast and carries us successfully on his crazy journey. Winstead is equally dangerous and delicious as Ramona while other standouts in the large cast include Kieran Culkin as his all-knowing gay roommate, Chris Evans as a hilariously-braindead skateboard whiz turned film star, Anna Kendrick as his no-nonsense sister, Brie Larson as an ex-girlfriend who's heart Scott "kicked in the ass" and Alison Pill as the band's downbeat drummer. Superman Brandon Routh also has his moments as power-vegan bassist Todd Ingram, and the ever-amusing Jason Schwartzman goes for broke as the bad, bad leader of the League of Evil Exes.
The zippy pace set by Wright keeps this thing floating along until it becomes a little too frenetic in its final acts when Scott goes into full battle mode. Overall though, like its star, the film is genuinely bright and hilarious.
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast: Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Alison Pill, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman, Johnny Simmons, Mark Webber and Ellen Wong
Director: Edgar Wright
Screenwriters: Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright
Producers: Marc Platt, Eric Gitter, Nira Park and Edgar Wright
Rating: PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references
Running time: 112 min.
Release date: August 13, 2010