This film, directed and co-wriiten by Edgar Wright (‘Shaun Of The Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘Spaced’), is adapted from a comic, or more precisely six comics. It’s about a normal guy doing extraordinary/superhero things, which makes it sound an awful lot like ‘Kick Ass’, which came out earlier in the year. It starts, however, with a pseudo 8-bit reworking of the columbia logo, which is a nice touch and an indication that this film plays a lot more like a computer game than a comic. In fact, it’s like a fusion of a computer game and ‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’. Some of the stills from the film even show the two main characters (one of whom has dyed primary colour hair) sitting out in the snow. So, stylised boy-wants-girl slacker comedy alternates with end-of-level baddie battles.
It’s packed full of visual effects, captions and icons as well as sound effects and reworkings of tunes from games like Zelda. Now I grew up with Nintendos and games like Zelda, so I was enjoying all of those references. it’s the most convincing film I’ve seen that recreates a computer game experience, immersing you as the player of a level, fast-tapping back through to the boss when you die and try it again and creating very video-game-esque sets. It’s also got a progression more akin to a video game than a standard 3 act film, which is refreshing.
As for the other sections, the central character Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is not exactly annoying, but nonetheless not as interesting as the characters surrounding him. His schoolgirl friend Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), his flatmate Wallace (Kieran Culkin), his sister (Anna Kendrick), his dream-girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and his bandmates are all more of a draw when they’re onscreen. I also get the feeling that it’s aimed at someone younger than me, perhaps someone the age of the protagonist (22), but then I’m not sure they’d get all the early 90’s computer references.
Original, stylish, entertaining, but a bit long and samey by the end, but it’s a good film.
3 on 5
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick
UK Release: 25th August 2010