Well, I did, and...ugh. I don't think I've been so disappointed since District 9, another movie that pushed me into the fringe minority for hating it. (Which is fine - I obviously have no problem holding unpopular opinions. But having high standards does get a little exhausting.) About 20 minutes in, around the time we meet the first Evil Ex, the movie started losing me. I tried really hard to stay committed - I really cannot tell you how much I love Edgar Wright, and how much more I'm willing to try to give him the benefit of the doubt - but I couldn't do it, for several reasons.
The biggest reason has two sides to it - the characters, and the casting. Scott Pilgrim and Michael Cera leave me completely cold, and for similar reasons. Michael Cera really has not moved beyond his inert awkward self in Arrested Development, and casting an inert person in an action movie is a strange move. I didn't care whether he succeeded or failed in his several battles, and if a fight scene has no stakes it quickly devolves into pointlessness. He also has NO sexual charisma whatsoever, which makes the fact that he's allegedly left a trail of broken hearts behind him completely baffling and out of bounds.
Plus, the movie treats all of the broken hearts as a complete joke until the penultimate scene, which robs both the characters and the scene of any sort of validity - we're supposed to laugh at and about them, until we're supposed to suddenly care about their feelings? No dice, movie.
Speaking of the ladies, I absolutely HATED Ramona, despite or perhaps due to the movie's insistence that I should feel otherwise. I suspect this has something to do with Mary Elizabeth Winstead's uninspiring, uninteresting, unforgivably dead-eyed portrayal. I've never found the girl to be at all engaging, whether in Final Destination 3 (yeah, bitch, I remember that mess) or Death Proof, and she didn't change my mind here at all. She was just a mopily banal asshole, a zero-dimensional version of Kate Winslet's Clementine, whose personal attractiveness was completely mysterious to me.
|I absolutely choose the cartoon version.|
I get a strong sense that a lot of the richness of the comic books (which I haven't read) was lost in translation somehow. I know this is a common complaint about film adaptations of books, but an essential part of what endeared the books so much to their audience must have been missing. There must be a reason that so many people are emotionally invested in the shit, but none of it came through in the movie.
None of this would be shocking, though, if it weren't directed by Edgar Wright, a man whose work is typically emotionally resonant, even when involving zombies taking over London, or Jim Broadbent leading a cabal of fanatic townies. His work also typically includes scripts that are more than intermittently witty, well-developed and relatable characters, and female characters who are more than impassive love interests or cruel punchlines. I thought he knew better than this. I can only conclude that, while Mr. Wright has an unmatched visual style and a terribly interesting eye, the brains and heart of the operation actually belong to one Simon Pegg, his frequent collaborator. Therefore, I'm begging Edgar and Simon to get back together stat, and work to make me forget that this gaudy monstrosity ever happened.