Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (12A)

The ViewNewcastle Review

Review byMatthew Turner27/08/2010

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 112 mins

Hugely enjoyable, frequently funny action-pic-slash-romcom that perfectly recreates the manga meets video games vibe of the comics thanks to a clever, fast-paced script, a terrific cast, brilliant effects work and superb direction from Edgar Wright.

What's it all about?
Directed by Edgar Wright and based on the series of cult comic books by Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is set in Toronto and stars Michael Cera as 22-year-old slacker Scott Pilgrim, who lives with his gay roommate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin), plays bass in a band called Sex Bob-omb and has just started dating smitten high schooler Knives Chau (newcomer Ellen Wong). However, when Scott meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) – literally the girl of his dreams – he falls head over heels in love with her and realises he has to break up with Knives as gently as possible.

Things quickly get worse for Scott when Ramona reveals that in order to win her hand he'll have to defeat her seven evil exes, including action movie hunk Lucas Lee (Chris Evans) and the current boyfriend (Brandon Routh) of Scott's own evil ex, Envy Adams (Brie Larson), lead singer of successful rival band The Clash at Demonhead.

The Good
The comic's blend of slacker romcom, manga-style fight scenes and videogame motifs (e.g. whenever Scott defeats an opponent they turn into coins) takes quite a bit of getting used to and the same is true here, but once the penny drops and the rules of Scott's world are established, the film is enormous fun. That said, though the film feels original and different, it's fair to say that its distinctive style won't appeal to everyone and some may find the fight scenes repetitive.

Cera's sweet-natured, amiably dopey screen persona works surprisingly well, in that it's both weird and strangely enjoyable to see Michael Cera kicking ass. The supporting cast are note-perfect too and Wright gives everyone a chance to shine, though Culkin, Wong and Anna Kendrick (as Scott's sister Stacey) are the obvious stand-outs.

The Great
The script is remarkably faithful to the source material and is packed with funny lines and terrific sight gags. In addition, Wright's snappy direction and whip-smart editing keep things moving at a suitably frenetic pace and the effects work is inspired, with delightful little animated touches, particularly during the music sequences.

Worth seeing?
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a thoroughly enjoyable romcom-slash-action-pic with a great script, superb direction, exciting fight scenes and terrific performances. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 03/05/2012 08:27

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