Adapted from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels Scott Pilgrim, this Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) piece of cinematic extravagance has a certain appeal to the Y generation in its obvious use of sounds of classic Nintendo and Sega Genesis games.
Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is 22 years old and plays bass in a band called Sex-Bob-Omb and he has a new girlfriend the 17 years old Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) that all his friends disapprove of. Not really long after his new relationship has debuted he meets another mysterious girl that he dreams about and rapidly fall in love with. She is Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and looks like a gothic hipster girl with coloured hairs. She seems fragile and Scott is torn between the two girls until he decides to go with Ramona he soon discovers that he’ll have to defeat her seven evil exes to get to go out with her.
After not really doing well in theaters, the film had a huge success in home video/DVD/Blu-Ray and there is now a cult following the whole thing. It is an excellent adaptation of a graphic novel and the first half of the movie is very well made, and we feel the « graphic novel » touch in the cinematography. The editing reminds also of the reading of this kind of source material and it seems to not have been denaturing the original work by Lee O’Malley. All the same the dialogues and the delivery is very funny and I think that Michael Cera was the perfect actor for this character even if he seems to be doing the same character he often does. Just like a Johnny Depp of his own generation, while being quirky and sensitive at the same time. Cera represents the geeks of the Y generation and has something that is hard to explain that makes him vulnerable and sad on the screen but at the same an interesting character in himself. He never seems to be pushing too hard or needing to rehearse much to be what he shows on the screen. It’s not really a range but a presence that is really of the aforementioned generation of TV and video games.
However, what makes this film work is the ensemble of actors that Wright and his team put together that has well known faces in almost every part : Anna Kendrick, Kieran Culkin, Brandon Routh, Alison Pill, Brie Larson, Jason Schwartzman, Chris Evans, and many others.
With all that said and all the fun that this now cult film, can we already consider a 3 years old film a cult film. Maybe this is material for a future post. But I digress. The third act seems to be a little thrown out and except the battles there’s not that much else going on and I almost needed a moment to grasp air because of the saturated sugar coated cinematography that is very cheesy but also overwhelming kind of gets old and throws us into video games with too much repetition and not enough jokes or solid moments.
Finally, I enjoyed it very much even if the second half doesn’t stand as strong as the first one and it is probably explainable because the movie was released before Lee O’Malley finished his series of novels.