Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” follows the life of 22-year-old Toronto native Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera, “Superbad”) as he falls for American delivery girl Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, “Live Free or Die Hard”). However, before he can begin a relationship with her, he must defeat her seven ex-boyfriends, all of whom belong to the League of Evil Exes, who want to control Ramona’s love life.

On Aug. 13, the young and talented cast of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” — including Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman, Anna Kendrick, Cera and Winstead — as well as director Edgar Wright made Austin their last stop in the United States before heading out to promote the film in Europe. Sitting at a round table at the Four Seasons Hotel, the cast members opened up about their on-set experiences and the appeal of their respective characters.

The Daily Texan: What attracted you to the script?

Brandon Routh: No one could read the script unless [they were] working with the director Edgar Wright, but I read the source material and knew that this was something I was interested in.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I read the [comic] books, loved everything. I like the stylized, over-the-top performances.

DT: In the film, Scott must defeat Ramona’s exes by using their weaknesses against them. Do each of you have a weakness?

Jason Schwartzman: Getting buried alive and hair pulling.

Edgar Wright: Tickling. Definitely tickling.

Michael Cera: I hate when people grab you by the neck.

DT: If you could have a superpower, what would it be and what would be your superhero name?

JS: I would be Ultrasound Man.

EW: Wizard Sleeve. I would have Dumbledore in this sleeve, Merlin in the pocket and Gandalf in the other [sleeve].

MC: The Tailor, I could make anyone’s clothes fit perfectly with the touch of my finger.

DT: Anna, you have acted in a variety of different films, each in a different genre. Are you trying to find your niche?

Anna Kendrick: You get lucky. If I told you that I had any type of strategy, I would be lying. I wanted to do “Scott Pilgrim” because I was a fan of Edgar’s work and wanted a shot at working with him.

This summer’s movie season has been filled with mediocrity, from “Iron Man 2” to “Sex and the City 2,” but “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” brings something new to the table. “Scott Pilgrim” jumps off the screen with a smart, engaging and creative take on the teenage love story.

Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s six-volume graphic novel of the same name, the film takes place in Toronto and focuses on Scott Pilgrim’s misadventures.

Played by Michael Cera (“Superbad”), Pilgrim is an immature 22-year-old dating a 17-year-old high school student named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong). He is the bass player of a band called Sex Bob-Omb and meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, “Final Destination 3”). He soon begins his quest to win her heart, but before he can win Ramona over Pilgrim finds out that he must defeat her seven evil exes, each one more insane than the last. Pilgrim previously had his heart broken by ex-girlfriend Envy Adams (Brie Larson), which turned him into a jealous mess, but as he learns from each crazy altercation with Flowers’ exes, Pilgrim slowly matures.

Though Cera’s performance is multidimensional and realistic, it’s Pilgrim’s roommate Wallace (Kieran Culkin) and sister Stacy Pilgrim (Anna Kendrick) who are the scene-stealers. Culkin is charismatic and adds a punch to each line he delivers, and Kendrick’s character is snarky and entertaining.

The film, directed by Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”), is aesthetically similar to both video-game play and comic-book illustrations. Wright mixes the perfect amount of catchy music, humor and unique storytelling reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s directing style. Cera works as the awkward teenager everyone can relate to, although it would be a refreshing change for the actor to move out of his comfort zone instead of playing the same character in each project he undertakes.

Grade: B+