From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - B

Rated PG-13 for stylized violence, sexual content, language and drug references, 112 minutes

Energetic, quirky "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" a treat

The energetic "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" is an interesting hybrid: quirky, cynical independent film sensibilities mixed with an souped-up comic book adaptation (sort of like "Juno" on steroids). It's also a great deal of fun and features some of the best martial-arts fighting in some time, which should appeal to many age groups, particularly the young set. The wackiness of it all may not appeal to everyone, especially those who aren't familiar with the "Scott Pilgrim" comic book series, but there's enough to keep nearly everyone engaged for a bit.

Michael Cera is Scott Pilgrim, a Toronto-slacker twenty-something who plays in a grunge-style rock band called Sex Bob-omb with one of his former girlfriends, the punkish, deeply cynical Kim (Allison Pill), Stephen Stills (Mark Webber) with a roadie named Young Neil (Johnny Simmons) around for measure. Scott is dating talky oriental high school girl Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) until he meets and falls head over heels for Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a young American girl new to the area and who changes hair colors frequently. The two eventually hit it off until he discovers that in order to truly win her over, he must fight and defeat her seven evil exes (including Chris Evans, Brandon Routh and Jason Schwartzman), all part of The League of Evil Exes.

"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" is a dark, offbeat comic-book adaptation primarily for the comic-con set but fun enough to win over some of us non-comic-con nerds. Directed with panache and bridled energy by Edgar Wright, of "Shaun of the Dead" fame, it has some above-average martial arts, decent special-effects and an unconventional love story. On the down-side, it may be too cynical and quirky for some, and likable Michael Cera channels the same nebbish slacker dweeb he plays in nearly all of his films, but in this case it works in the film's favor to have a different-style action hero.

The girls tend to fare better in "Scott Pilgrim," with Chow stealing scenes, Winstead is lovely as ever and even recent Oscar-nominee Anna Kendrick ("Up in the Air") throwing out some one-liners. Kieran Culkin also has a way of stealing a handful of scenes as Scott's young, gay roomate who's tougher than Scott himself. The film does brim with energy, and even those who aren't familiar with the story or may not enjoy the tone will enjoy the fight and action sequences.

"Scott Pilgrim" comes to an interesting but fun climax as Scott strives to save the day and win over his Ramona. I think it'll be a modest hit and likely inspire more Scott Pilgrim entries.