"scene after scene of tantalising fight sequences hit you right between the eyes, where all bets are off, anything can happen and everything does."
In a world where being in your twenties is still like being in your teens, and films about being in your twenties are no longer about what job you have or your five year plan, but ultimately about fun and humour and most importantly love, what better hero of this modern day phenomenon do we have than Michael Cera. Admittedly Cera might only be just out of his teens himself, having nailed the quirky, quiet and loveable loser teen role over the last few years, and his latest role in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World isn't a massive step away. He plays a quirky, quiet and lovable loser twenty something, except in Scott pilgrim he's a twenty something with a difference, he kicks ass, literally.
Based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's comic novel's of the same name, Scott Pilgrim is undeniably a modern coming of age story, and everything that entails, from battle of the bands and sharing a bed with three unlikely friends, the most memorable being roommate Wallace (Kieran Culkin). To record shop days and game arcade nights all mashed up in a stop start, sometimes frustratingly illogical format and played through the eyes of a comic book junkie. Its a story of a not quite grown up and his pursuit for the age old Holy Grail, the girl of his dreams.
The film starts in Toronto, where we see Cera bumbling through life followed by his obsessively loyal, if slightly loopy high schooler girlfriend Knives Chau played by a brilliant (Ellen Wong) until he meets the literal girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who rollerblades through his world, a flash of purple hair and skeptical stare driving Scott on a mad conquest, at first to pursue her through hilarious house party stalking scenes to the eventual premise of the film, the challenge of having to take on her seven evil exes in order to be with her.
No journey would be complete without a band of merry men accompanying our hero's every move, and Cera's cast mates don't disappoint, from his constantly annoyed sister played by Anna Kendrick to an exploding goody bag of vengeful exes, all of which, notably Brandon Ruth, bring there own sharp lines of humour and memorable performances.
This is where the films steps up the action, where the whole story comes shooting out at you like a kaleidoscope on a rollercoaster, where you're not quite sure if you just saw something and you have no idea what's coming next. Scene after scene of tantalising fight sequences hit you right between the eyes, where all bets are off, anything can happen and everything does.
The magic comes not just through the visual spectacular, or the pop culture references of which the film is littered, but through the way in which the film tells you quite early on to leave your reality check at the door, suspend belief, sit back and let the film take you where it wants, and wow, what a journey that is. This is a film where getting tossed 500 feet in the air, and hitting a wall doesn't mean your dead, and where every time an evil ex is defeated, they disappear in a shower of coins, just like the platform video games of the 80's probably a favourite of Director Edgar Wright.
Despite the fact that there are moments of concept déjà vu (Ramona's too cool for school attitude in the girl du jour has been seen more times than she changes her hair colour) and Scott Pilgrims hapless hero is a character well tread by Michael Cera, the film is overall original and exciting enough to stick in your mind for weeks and make you wonder where that old game boy of yours is.