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SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

SYNOPSIS:
Twenty two year old jobless Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) plays bass guitarist for a garage band called Sex Bob-omb and doesn't have problems getting girlfriends. His problem is getting rid of them. Envy Adams (Brie Larson), the one who dumped him is back and the teenage schoolgirl Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) is a little too keen. But his new crush, the elusive, mysterious Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has the most unusual baggage of all: a despicable league of exes who controls her love life and will do whatever it takes to eliminate him as a suitor. In order to get the girl in the video game of his life, Scott Pilgrim must vanquish them all before it's game over.

Review by Louise Keller:
An acid trip of surreal fantasy and hyper reality, Edgar Wright's film takes a high concept approach to its interpretation of the graphic novels with a jumble of cinematic comic-book and video game inspiration with ninja sensitivities. Ambitious, chaotic and unpredictable with humour catering for an audience that understands vocabulary such as 'like', 'wow', 'whatever' and 'OMG', the film relies on its fantastic elements, as its geeky protagonist Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) explores his romantic yearnings through the prism of his overactive imagination. The look of the film is wild with its kooky characters, kapow comic-book references and special effects-driven fantasies, but on the flip side, it is repetitive, tedious and the storytelling is jumbled.

Set in the mysterious snowy land of Canada in mid winter, we first meet Cera's gawky Pilgrim confiding in his gay roommate Wallace (Kieran Culkin) about the meaningful conversations he is having with his sweet, 17 year old Chinese schoolgirl playmate, with the cutting-edge name of Knives (Ellen Wong). They hang about playing video games, checking out the music shop, and Pilgrim pees to break the boredom. But then he meets the new kid on the block, the colourfully named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), of the luminous purple hair that changes colour every week and a half. He is no longer bored, but theirs is not a relationship made in heaven.

Just when he thinks he is getting to second base, he has to conquer her seven deadly ex-boyfriends who appear in choreographed fantasy action scenes; those seven 'x's' under her phone number are obviously not kisses! There are biff boff fight sequences with a bunch of crazy exes including a musician, an actor, a lesbian, a vegan academy major and the slimy Gideon (Jason Schwartzman), who has a hold over Ramona. The film's look comprises split screens, slo-mo camera work, kung-fu kicks, punches, leaps, dancing hearts, pink-cloud letters, flying and more as the video game fantasy evolves.

The whole cast is good and I especially like Anna Kendrick as Pilgrim's sister Stacey. Wong's innocent Knives and Winstead's fickle, impulsive and spontaneous Ramona both have great presence and as for Cera, he plays that awkward, gangly type he always plays - to perfection. Schwartzman and Brandon Routh impose their personas into the manic mix.

There are 'thonks' when heads crash against telegraph poles and light sabre duels as self esteem becomes something for which to fight. To me, the film's concept is superior to the actual experience. But then, I wasn't laughing like many in the rowdy audience, who were guffawing things I thought were rather inane.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (M)
(US, 2010

CAST: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Brandon Routh, Alison Pill, Jason Schwartzman

PRODUCER: Eric Gitter, Nira Park, Marc Platt, Edgar Wright

DIRECTOR: Edgar Wright

SCRIPT: Michael Bacall, Edgar Wright (novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bill Pope

EDITOR: Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss

MUSIC: Nigel Godrich

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Marcus Rowland

RUNNING TIME: 117 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 12, 2010







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