The media always complains that Hollywood throws too many sequels and dumb comedies down moviegoers throats, but after a horribly shaky start in May, the offerings for the summer movie season have started to turn around. From Chris Nolan’s blockbuster “Inception” to indie word of mouth hit “The Kids Are All Right,” unconventional and quality offerings are getting much deserved attention. Another entry into the late summer mix in that vein is the incredibly entertaining “Scott Pilgrim vs the World.”
Arguably the best video game movie based on a graphic novel inspired by video games movie ever (and that’s a compliment), the genre-twisting romantic adventure is sure to melt the hearts and wallets of numerous ticket buyers once it opens Aug 13. While Director Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead”) has pulled off some stunning and inventive visual sequences in the picture, but with some new clips now available online, this pundit has decided to chronicle six unexpected reasons why “Scott Pilgrim” could save your next visit to the multiplex.
Chuck full of surprises
Whether you know the material from its comic book origins or not, “Scott Pilgrim” is full of surprises. From celebrity cameos to amazing effect sequences its hard to find anyone who isn’t impressed after seeing it. And considering all the hype, that’s a rare feat these days. Plus, as this clip below demonstrates, the movie has a little bit of something for everyone.
Jason Schwartzman is on a roll
The “Rushmore” star has always exhibited a wealth of talent, but over the past few years Schwartzman has really come into his own. From his vocal work on “Fantastic Mr. Fox” to his entertaining turn on his HBO series “Bored to Death” to his sell out sitcom actor in “Funny People,” Schwartzman has had a confidence and charisma that hints that he’ll be around for quite some time. His character Gordon Gideon Graves appears late in “Scott Pilgrim,” but it’s a significant role that he manages to provide more depth to than you’d expect if you’ve already consumed Bryan O’Malley’s graphic novels.
Wallace Wells is worthy of his own spin-off
It will never happen, but if any character from the “Scott Pilgrim” universe deserves his own movie it’s Wallce Wells (Kieran Culkin). Of course, Wallace has shown no evidence of fighting skills (those seem left for seducing guys into the bedroom), he’s obviously the smartest guy in the room next to Scott’s sister Stacey (Anna Kendrick). Culkin is coming back to the movie biz after an extended leave the past decade and proves in this droll portrayal his talents have been sorely missed.
Michael Cera tries not to be Michael Cera
Listen, the elephant in the room regarding “Scott Pilgrim” is all about Michael Cera. Many fans of the original source material, including this writer, feel he was wrong for the part and many moviegoers are keenly aware his performances in “Superbad,” “Year One,” “Juno,” “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” and “Youth in Revolt” seem awfully similar. It’s welcome relief than, that Cera at least tries to make his Scott Pilgrim different from all the other characters he’s played. Many will debate whether it completely works, but it’s a different turn for Cera and if you’ve never read the graphic novels at least, it works.
We kid, but in such a pop-culture mix-mash as “Pilgrim” it’s a credit to Wright he’s able to create suspense and anticipation over the increasingly uncomfortable love triangle between Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers and the starstruck Knives Chau.
Brandon Routh’s best performance ever
Granted, that’s not necessarily saying much, but besides a nice string on “Chuck” Routh hasn’t done anything significant since “Superman Returns” (and the less said about that the better). As Todd Ingram, he is a hilariously silly Vegan-powered foil to Pilgrim. And yes, this is definitely one career-turning role that will get him more work in the biz.
What do you think? Is “Scott Pilgrim” on your must-see list? Or are you saving your pennies for “Eat Pray Love” or “The Expendables?