Everything about this movie would suggest that I was going to love it. On these pages, and probably others, I’ve enthused about Michael Cera (even in the likes of Youth in Revolt), Anna Kendrick (the only decent thing in Twilight) and Edgar Wright (Spaced, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are among the few titles I own on DVD that I’ve watched more than once). Throw into the mix Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Grindhouse, Final Destination 3) and a soundtrack featuring Frank Black, The Bluetones and Plumtree I was always going to love it, wasn’t I? Wasn’t I?

Well, yes. I loved it. It’s wonderful. And for all the pre-information, it’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and is right up there with Sin City in terms of successful screen representations of a graphic novel.

Even before the first shot, it’s clear from the 8-bit rendering of the Universal logo and theme that attention to detail is going to be sky-high and that this isn’t going to be a straight-forward experience. That said, it does start comparatively simply while the characters and environment are established. Scott Pilgrim (Cera) lives in snowy Toronto where his gay roommate (the fabulous Kieran Culkin) gives him rent-free lodgings, he plays bass in mis-firing indie band Sex Bob-Omb and he dates a seventeen-year-old school girl Knives Chau (a twenty-six-year-old Ellen Wong).

Through this opening, there are plenty of moments where the audience is reminded of the source material; text flies across the screen, information boxes pop up with character summaries but never intrusively. It’s only when Scott dreams of his dream-girl, Ramona Flowers (Winstead) and then eventually meets her that everything is cranked up a level or twenty and the universe becomes somewhat surreal. To date Ramona, Scott must battle and defeat her seven evil exes in fights to the death.

What was already visually impressive  suddenly becomes even more so during the über brawls. They’re beautifully choreographed, bullet fast, presented in true Tekken fashion and despite their multiple instances, it never becomes samey. Visually, it’s crisp and the comic-book framing is perfect. As far as the audio is concerned, while the movie has a kicking soundtrack, the true joy comes from the little punctuation points; the Zelda soundtrack, Mac error pings, the Seinfeld theme.

At its heart, just like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, despite the cross-genres, it’s a comedy and if Edgar Wright knows anything, it’s comedy. Michael Cera and his colleagues are right at home with the script and it flows as beautifully as Superbad where, sure there are plenty of laugh out loud moments, but it worked more because I smiled throughout and fell in love with the characters.

Undoubtedly, though, it’s not for everyone. After half an hour, a couple in their sixties left the cinema and didn’t return and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s not particularly an age thing but for those who have avoided computer games and that sort of culture it might well seem like everyone else is in on the joke.

For me, and I suspect for most of the audience, it’s right up there contending for film of the year. I’ll be seeing it again soon, I’ve ordered the graphic novel and I’ve already made a special place free on my shelf ready for the Blu Ray. I might even buy the dolls.

A triumph.

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