In the next couple years we'll be seeing a ton of popular graphic novel characters hitting the big screen. Batman, Spider-Man, Green Lantern, The Avengers (including Thor and Captain America in their own films), and potentially Superman will make their triumphant returns/debuts to cinema. With all of these films in overlapping production, there's bound to be one sacrificial year; one year where all the heavy-hitters take a bit of a break. 2010 is that year. The compromise of the year was IRON MAN 2, though it did feel like its primary purpose was to build toward the AVENGERS ensemble picture. The rest of the graphic novel adaptations in theaters this year are of a more modest variety. Some are b-list titles like JONAH HEX or THE LOSERS, and others have more specific audiences like KICK-ASS or SCOTT PILGRIM.
The latter category has had mostly favorable results. KICK-ASS was a lot of fun if just a little annoying. The same thing could be said about SCOTT PILGRIM. The film is pretty solid all around with some eye-catching visuals and enjoyable performances, but it does such a good job building up the conclusion that it's not surprising when it falls a little flat in the third act. Character motivations get confused and the lengthy final duel lacks the punch of its predecessors, rendering it fairly anti-climactic. However, there's still some good comedy and an appropriate ending to cap things off on a good note.
SCOTT PILGRIM is something new for director Edgar Wright, whose previous films both hint at a particular style. This film does not share the same connection. It takes on a graphic novel and video game aesthetic, which results in some really interesting sequences. My favorite is when Scott takes on an evil ex with vegan powers played by Brandon Routh. His throwing around of Scott with white light is pretty stunning. All of the effects were pretty ambitious and I have to take my hat off to Wrights for how successful he was.
Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, and Jason Schwartzman all provide a lot of laughs.