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Scott Pilgrim vs the World


Stars: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, Brandon Routh, Anna Kendrick, Alison Pill, Johnny Simmons, Mark Webber, Satya Bhabha, Chris Evans, Mae Whitman, Brie Larsen, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Hader (voice)

Director: Edgar Wright

Fast, furious, comic-strip-violent combination of romcom, teen fantasy and video arcade game. 22-year-old Scott Pilgrim (Cera), on the rebound from an affair with a rock goddess, plays in a struggling boy band of his own, and is sort-of-dating a 17-year-old Chinese-American high schooler called Knives (Wong, very good).

That is, until he spots henna-haired Ramona Flowers (Winstead) across a crowded bar. It's desire at first sight. But to win her for keeps he has to battle with her seven evil exes, all of whom are mighty warriors (or think they are). Still, the video version of Scott has powers of his own, and the cataclysmic clashes that result sees the screen explode in a a series of 'Thud!'s and 'Wham!'s as Scott scores 200 for hits on his way to the desired 1000 to kill each ex.

This is way out all right, but, given the treatment, is it way out enough? Even though younger audiences will swallow the lurid potion with relish, the film, for all its surface pizzazz, could be sharper and funnier. One big laugh, though, does come when Knives pays an unexpected visit to the apartment Scott, who doesn't want to see her, shares with his gay friend Wallace (a droll Culkin).

Scott - Cera's whimsical nerd act is beginning to seem repetitive - also spends the whole film trying to compose a romantic song to Ramona, without obviously realising that there's a classic of that title just waiting to be played.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Universal. Technicolor.
112 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 21 Aug 2010