About Jack Clark

Newcastle, England, United Kingdom

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World has trouble adapting to film... it's lucky Michael Cera and Edgar Wright are at hand

On first hearing about the film, I thought the hilarious Edgar Wright would be a fascinating director to work with Michael Cera, who has built quite a cult career for himself playing nervous teens, since his introduction to the international media in 2007's 'Superbad'. Edgar Wright has a particular style that can be noted from past accomplishments such as 'Shaun Of The Dead', the frustratingly similar 'Hot Fuzz', and the hilarious classic TV series 'Spaced'. This style can be easily seen within 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World', and certainly lends itself fantastically well to a graphic novel adaptation. An aspect of Wright's direcorial style is scattering pieces of story, certain phrases or objects, that slowly work together to create a very satisfying friendly touch, making the film conclude as a successful whole; this was used in 'Shaun Of The Dead' in 2004, making it one of the best British comedies of the last ten years. Not only was this used to impressive effect this time round, playing on the novel's themes, but pairs with the film's dream-like state of switching seemlessly and confusingly between locations and conversations as we follow the protagonist, Scott Pilgrim.
     It was an asset to have a director such as Wright at hand when making this film, as the story was clearly farcical, and had a tendancy to stray over the line between uncomfortable and unwatchable during the climax, even under Wright's watchful eye; it can easily be said that in less capable hands, this would have happened destructively more often. The story from Bryan Lee O'Malley was flawed from the beginning, a story that worked in graphic novel form wouldn't necessarily work as a film. The filmmakers made a good job of adapting the story, using original graphics from the series, and even seemed self-aware at times, which only added to the comedy of the end product. The team behind the film have to be commended on working the story into film, and when all is said about the fatalities involved with adapting the story to film, it's clear that Wright's move to Hollywood, and higher budgets, is a seemless transition. His input is defined, and the film is clearly his own, but allthewhile works perfectly with international names like Cera and 'Up In The Air' support Anna Kendrick.
     Something else that let the film down when adapting it was the casting of Michael Cera. I don't think that he gave a bad performance by any means, but with such a history of films in his background, Cera is experienced at playing the nervous teen, and of course it shows; 'Superbad', 'Juno', 'Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist' and 'Youth In Revolt', among others, range from 2007 to 2009, and in what feels already like a whole career, Cera has perfected mannerisms and characteristics that are trademark to him. There are scatterings of these within 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World', but at the same time as being the funniest lines in the film, they made it hard to see him as anything other than who he's been in films before. He just wasn't believable as a grunge guitarist who the seventeen-year-old character Knives looks up to.
     In fact, Cera's performance was great in his own right, a fact that was not let down by the wrong decision to cast him, and this was equalled, if not overshadowed, by the inclusion of Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the role of Ramona, and I look forward to her roles in the future. Also making a welcomed appearance was Anna Kendrick, the award-winning supporting actress from 'Up In The Air', who is also a name from the set of the undeniably, and annoyingly, successful Twilight saga. For such a fatal story, the cast and whole team behind the film handle it in a way that has trouble translating to screen, but the personal touches from all involved makes it a film to note, and hopefully a step to bigger things for everyone.


  1. you really watch a lot of films!!! I heard great things about this up till now and i think I'll give it a miss

  2. haha as many as i can anyway!
    well it has some good michael cera lines in, but nothing you cant get from another of his films, and edgar wright's input is good, but only for big wright fans. honestly i wouldn't recommend it

  3. I really liked the film, but was let down by Cera's performance. He does the same thing in every film, and is relatively hit-or-miss. Good review!

  4. i kind of thought cera was trying to play his other characters when the storyline said he was something completely different, i know what you mean it didnt work