Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Universal

At first sight, "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World" appears to be just another coming of age story starring Michael Cera, one of Hollywood's two experts (the other is Jesse Eisenberg) at portraying sensitive, intelligent and insecure youngsters.

Trailer: emanuellevy.com/videos/view.cfm?id=188

The film, which world-premiered at Comic-Con (San Diego), will be released by Universal on August 13.
 
I have not read the comic book, but I am told that "Scott Pilgrim" is a funny, insightful tale of wish fulfillment experienced by youngsters in dealing with the anxieties and insecurities of first love.
 
Edgar Wright's adaptation of the beloved graphic novel series is stronger on style than on substance or emotional resonance. Technically astounding, and replete with pop-cultural references, the movie should appeal to a younger techno-oriented generation of moviegoers who embrace videogames, new social media, text messages, and so on.
The largely appealing Michael Cera plays Scott Pilgrim, a 22-year-old boy who entertains rock star fantasies as the bassist of The Sex Bob-omb. While involved in a bond with the under-aged Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), Scott experiences a sensual dream, in which he is introduced to Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), which prompts him to devise all kinds of way of meeting her in real time.
Needless to say, the road is full of obstacles. For one thing, Ramona's former lovers threaten to harm him if he doesn't leave her. But this only motivates him (perhaps for the first time in his life) to fight for her, finding unknown strength within him in the process.
The comicbook creator Bryan Lee O'Malley took his time and spread the story over a six-volume graphic novel, but helmer Wright and co-writer Michael Bacall have chosen to focus on the splashy fighting, neglecting the more detailed observations of courtship and romance.
Episodic to a fault, the tale is sprawling, but some of the asides and distractions are entertaining in their own right. The early chapters that depict Scott's courtship with Knives are familiar and boring, because we don't root for the couple to be together. The film's second half is more engaging, though I am not sure that Scott belongs with his dream-girl Ramona either.
Even so, as a tale of a youth who embarks on a journey of self-discovery, emotional, mental, and physical, the film has some charming moments. There are some funny action sequences that are inventive and different from what we are used to seeing in youth tales.
What kind of roles will Michael Cera play when he grows up? He has done variations of this character before ("Juno" is a good example), representing a uniquely American youth, insecure yet resilient, weak yet optimist, passive yet not entirely submissive, above all, he romantic and lovesick.
The tale unfolds at a breakneck pacing, with helmer Wright (perhaps not trusting the material entirely) cutting breezily through several locations over the course of a single conversation, or splicing an action sequence into bits and pieces.
Wright's control of technique is impressive, but his penchant for visual flourishes, borrowing and mixing elements from videogames, TV sitcoms, and comicbooks sometimes backfires, resulting in scenes that are dramatically self-indulgent and emotionally hollow.
Cast
 
Scott Pilgrim – Michael Cera
Ramona Flowers – Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Wallace Wells – Kieran Culkin
Lucas Lee – Chris Evans
Stacey Pilgrim – Anna Kendrick
Kim Pine – Alison Pill
Todd Ingram – Brandon Routh
Gideon Gordon Graves – Jason Schwartzman
Envy Adams – Brie Larson
Julie Powers – Aubrey Plaza
Young Neil – Johnny Simmons
Mark Webber – Stephen Stills
Roxy Richter – Mae Whitman
Knives Chau – Ellen Wong
 
Credits
 
A Universal release of a Marc Platt, Big Talk Films, Closed on Mondays production. Produced by Platt, Eric Gitter, Nira Park, Edgar Wright.
Executive producers, Ronaldo Vasconcellos, J. Miles Dale, Jared LeBoff, Adam Siegel.
Co-producers, Joe Nozemack, Lisa Gitter, Steven V. Scavelli.
Directed by Edgar Wright.
Screenplay, Michael Bacall, Edgar Wright, based on the Oni Press graphic novels by Bryan Lee O'Malley.
Camera, Bill Pope.
Editors, Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss.
Music, Nigel Godrich; music supervisor, Kathy Nelson.
Production designer, Marcus Rowland.
Art director, Nigel Churcher.
Set decorator, Odetta Stoddard.
Costume designer, Laura Jean Shannon.
Sound, Greg Chapman; supervising sound editor, Julian Slater; re-recording mixers, Chris Burdon, Doug Cooper.
Special effects supervisor, Arthur Langevin; visual effects supervisor, Frazer Churchill; visual effects, Double Negative, Mr. X; stunt coordinator, Brad Allan; fight coordinator, Peng Zhang.
Assistant director, Walter Gasparovic.
Casting, Allison Jones, Robin D. Cook, Jennifer Euston.
 
MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Running time: 112 Minutes.