2010 Running time: 107 Certificate: 12 Rating: 4

Synopsis

Offbeat fantasy starring Michael Cera as the easy-going hero who must defeat seven evil ex-boyfriends to win the heart of his dream girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright's first American comedy also stars Chris 'Captain America' Evans and Jason Schwartzmann, and excels in his traditional hyperkinetic, super-stylised fashion. Fights, videogames, rock music and hilarious characters ensure an instant geek classic.

Director

  • Edgar Wright

Cast

  • Michael Cera

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead

  • Chris Evans

  • Brandon Routh

  • Jason Schwartzman

Review

Edgar Wright has never been one to deal in pigeon holed genres.

From his early work and manic, quirky spin on the sitcom with Spaced, through to his rom-zom-com Shaun of the Dead, and 'Lethal Weapon set in Somerset' cop buddy action flick Hot Fuzz, he's miraculously managed to transpose his unique style to a list of increasingly successful feature films.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is his most accomplished and polished movie to date, with an adaptation of a cult comic that's by turns his most passionate, electric, fun and yet niche movie yet.

Bryan Lee O'Malley's self drawn, self written comic series has developed a rabid fanbase for good reason - stuffed with pop culture references, humour and heart, its vivid creativity tells a story every 20-to-30 something can relate to.

Scott Pilgrim's your stereotypical 22-year-old bassist slacker, whose videogame/rock music obsessed upbringing means he sees life through a particularly stylised (read: awesome) set of eyes.

When he meets the dayglo-haired girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead of Die Hard 4.0), he soon twigs that if he's ever going to get his own chance at a happy ending, he must defeat her seven evil exes in fist-flinging battle.

What sounds like a fairly bonkers plot only gets crazier on screen, as Wright harnesses the flashy cuts, quickfire wit, relentless nerd references and electric, exuberant style of his past successes, and further couples them with O'Malley's distinctively vibrant imagination.

Each videogame-esque duel is reassuringly polished in its choreography, with each evil ex presenting their own set of problems and replete with a Manga-styled look and character that's instantly iconic.

Additionally, with Scott's rock band Sex-Bob-Omb so integral to the plot, it's fitting that Wright's assembled a grungey, star-studded rock line-up to ensure the riffs are as rockin' as the fights.

While the popculture soundbytes and fanboy baiting videogame visual nods entertain, they'd be nothing without a solid, anchored romcom to structure it around.

Cera pushes himself just out of his 'Playing Michael Cera' comfort range as a slacker finally given something worth fighting for, and Winstead expertly encapsulates Ramona's aloof sexiness.

While it's a grade-A no-brainer for those of the nerdy persuasion, it's unlikely to resonate as easily with mainstream audiences. The humour and performances (there's not a dud ex in the pack) are more than enough reason to give it a shot, and Wright proves once and for all that his self-hyping hyperbole can translate to Hollywood's A-List.

Still, we can't guarantee everyone will be quite as ready to accept a movie dealing with hyperspace, vegan police, characters that can punch holes into the moon and enemies that explode into coins.

Whatever the mainstream reaction, it's an instant zeitgeist classic and proud bearer of yet another Wright-icised genre, as undoubtedly the best King-Kong-Bob-Omb-Rom-Com you'll ever see.

Matt Risley

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