If I was to tell you that this is your straight forward Comic-Book adaptation then I would be lying. What we have here is a massive genre blending cocktail of a live-action video game, with a dash of manga cartoon violence, an awesome indie soundtrack, and with any random idea you can think of. With fights with seven evil ex’s for good measure. Honestly if you see a more ridiculously entertaining film this year, it was probably Kick-Ass, but this takes you on one hell of a fun ride, that will only feel like it’s dragging if your bladder is about to burst from a bottle of Dr. Pepper (ahem). Edgar Wright has more than proven himself to be a stylish and competent director in Britain, with great success from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and the brilliant TV series Spaced. It was only a matter of time before he started to made the movie to Hollywood. Yet he has made quite a unconvential one.

Based on the comics created by Bryan Lee O’Malley, the story follows twenty-something slacker Scott Pilgrim (Superbad’s Michael Cera) who doesn’t have a secure job and lives across the road from the house he grew up in with a gay room-mate, Wallace (Kieran Culkin). He is in a band, called Sex Bob-Omb and they don’t look to be going anywhere and he is dating a high school girl named Knives (Ellen Wong). But then Scott meets the girl of his dreams, literally, in the form of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Scott can’t believe his luck, and has no problem in dumping the naive yet sweet Knives in order to start a relationship with Ramona. But it doesn’t quite run as smoothly as that, in order to go out with her he must fight and defeat her seven evil ex’s in a number of ways.

Unlike the last movie I saw, Inception, this is very much a film where you just need to grab the basic gist of what is going on and just sit back and watch the eye-popping visuals. Inception was an exercise for the mind, this is fun for the eyes. The action is just bonkers, the film starts out as a quick-witted rom-com, with some surreal images but initially plays out as a kooky love story. But when the first of the evil ex’s enter, it goes completely bonkers. The first fight is essentially where the audience is either won or lost, as the start has an almost Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind feeling to it. But the first fight features goes full-out on the video game references, as hinted by the 8 bit Universal logo at the start. The Tekken style visuals are brilliantly conceived but it’s when it breaks into a song that the audience will either choose to laugh along with the film, or think ‘what the hell am I doing watching this?’ Me, personally, I was the former and couldn’t stop laughing to myself at how ridiculous the fight was, and that’s the beauty of this film. The fights that follow very much follow in this vein, some being amazing in their visuals (the battle of the bands, Bass Battle and final showdown in particular) while others are a tad of a let down in the conclusion of them, particularly with Chris Evan’s Lucas Lee, a brilliant character who feels a bit wasted once his screen time is up. The fight with Roxie Ritcher does features a giant Thor hammer, but ends rather underwhelming with a poke on the back of the knee. That is the biggest problem with this film, the fights themselves have great characters in with them, but you can’t help thinking once you’ve hit the fifth fight, ‘oh he’s still got two more to fight’. It does feel on the verge of becoming a bit too episodic in its narrative structure. But the sheer imagination on-screen and the style Wright has gone for means the film is never boring and only the outcome of the fights are predictable, but the means for Scott’s victorites do surprise.

The attention to detail, clever witty anecdotes, inspired visuals help to set the tone, but it is the cast that firmly establish it. It may be titled Scott Pilgrim, but this is a film of many memorable characters. Scott himself is sometimes not entirely likeable, but we always stay on his side. You may think Michael Cera is just playing Michael Cera again here, but I actually think this is the role that has demanded the most from him so far in his career. His style of humour is a lot different, he is a more outspoken character and he actually convinces in the numerous fight scenes. But the way the whole cast click to the style set by Wright is brilliant. Ellen Wong is hilarious and sweet as Knives, while Kieran Culkin supplies some of the best laughs as Scott’s gay room-mate Wallace. Anna Kendrick is witty and kooky in her role as Scott’s younger sister, who acts more like the older sibling. The members of Sex Bob-Omb all add to the kooky humour as well.The seven evil ex’s are all nuts in their own weird way, with Chris Evans and Brandon Routh as a Vegan Rock star are highlights. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the only one who doesn’t seem to quite click with the type of humour on display, which may have more to do with how the character was written rather than her performance. But she’s still hot, even with her wacky hair style.

As mentioned before, this will be a film that splits audiences, you’ll either love the humour and the highly energetic visuals or you’ll just find it repetitive or far too over the top. And yes, it is over-the-top but its meant to be. Edgar Wright has entered into bigger budget fair with quite an unconventional comic book adaptation, a live action video game, he’s hopefully showing that moving into American flicks doesn’t mean he’s going to fall into genre conventions or be constricted by studio demands. He is very much off the leash here, which at times affects the flow of the narrative, but what he’s delivered is a highly entertaining feast for the eyes.  Prepare to feel the wrath of Edgar Wright in Hollywood!

4/5– One of the wackiest, random and ridiculously entertaining movies of the year. It probably isn’t for everyone but the stunning visuals and inventive style create a very original movie unlike anything you’ve seen before.  

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