In Toronto, Scott (Cera) is a 22-year-old geek in a rock band. His bandmates (Webber, Pill and Simmons), sister (Kendrick) and flatmate (Culkin) tease him for dating a teenager (Wong), but she's the band's biggest fan. Then he meets Ramona (Winstead), who is literally his dream girl, and to win her hand he has to defeat her seven evil exes in outlandish battles. These include an action movie star (Evans) and a top music promoter (Schwartzman). And one (Routh) is member of a band fronted by Scott's own evil ex (Larson).
With its colourful design, graphical flourishes, outrageous characters and a script peppered with jagged one-liners, it should be impossible to get bored by this restless movie. And yet the constant motion actually becomes dull, simply because the filmmakers spend so much time making everything wacky that they forget to take care of the rather terrific idea at the core of the film.
Essentially this is a story about two people trying to deal with their past relationships, and the concept of having them battle it out in a surreal game-inspired world is extremely clever. But director Wright only focuses on the cool-looking visuals and witty graphics, never creating characters we care about. So the fighting and banter never gather meaningful steam. And the central romance never feels remotely possible.
But the bigger problem is that Cera is playing the same character he's played throughout his career. Everyone else in the film is more interesting than him, but the hectic flurry of imagery doesn't let him build any chemistry. That said, there's just about enough entertainment in the parade of cameos to keep us entertained (Evans, Routh and Whitman are genuinely hilarious). But Wright really needed to kick this up a notch to make it work, because as it is, no one over a mental age of 12 will like it.
Run time: 112 mins
In Theaters: Friday 13th August 2010
Box Office USA: $31.5M
Box Office Worldwide: $46.5M
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Marc Platt Productions
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Fresh: 200 Rotten: 45
IMDB: 7.5 / 10
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona V. Flowers, Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells, Chris Evans as Lucas Lee, Anna Kendrick as Stacey Pilgrim, Brandon Routh as Todd Ingram, Alison Pill as Kim Pine, Jason Schwartzman as Gideon Gordon Graves, Ellen Wong as Knives Chau, Satya Bhabha as Matthew Patel, Mae Whitman as Roxy Richter, Johnny Simmons as Young Neil, Brie Larson as Envy Adams, John Patrick Amedori as Smoking hipster kid, Mark Webber as Stephen Stills, Erik Knudsen as Luke 'Crash' Wilson, Nelson Franklin as Comeau, Jean Yoon as Mother Chau, Kristina Pesic as Sandra, Abigail Chu as Trisha 'Trasha' Ha, Ben Lewis as Other Scott, Ingrid Haas as Monique, Chantelle Chung as Tamara, Emily Kassie as Winifred Hailey, Aubrey Plaza as Julie Powers, Marlee Otto as Party Goer, Will Seatle Bowes as Party Goer
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