As a nerdy film buff who grew up in the 80s happily playing on my ZX Spectrum, and therefore surely Scott Pilgrim's target audience, I was convinced Edgar Wright's latest could not fail.

  How wrong I was.....

Based on a graphic novel, the film is a modern-day seven labours of Hercules, where the eponymous hero must defeat seven evil exes to get the girl.

So far so intriguing – and the trailer was full of promise.

However, exchange the words labour for laboured and hero for annoying little emo git and you will have some idea about where this review is going.

Michael Cera is central to what is wrong about the whole film. Just because he has played a 'loveable' geek in previous roles does not mean he can be transplanted fully formed into other films and still be a hit.

Successful films these days are about concepts rather than stars and characters.

Plus I don't find him loveable. I find him incredibly smug and annoying. I don't think he has geeky charm – he is just your average lad wrapped up in a nerdy package and thus totally unattractive to most women (well, this one, anyway).

We are simultaneously supposed to accept that Scott is both a total loser and a lady-killer, with hot women fighting over him.

And this tiresome premise, so prevalent in modern cinema, is a conceit that really added to my dislike of the movie.

Because it wears its 'hipness' so clearly on its trendy T-shirt sleeve it actually replaces cool with pretension.

And it is imbued with all the old-fashioned chauvinism of the blockbusters it believes it is superior to.

Scott starts off dating a wonderful girl (okay, she is literally a girl but seeing he has the emotional maturity of a school boy, you can see why they are suited).

Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) is the best thing about this film, with plenty of personality and loads in common with Scott.

Then he decides to dump her for a bland, bitchy girl who is supposed to be interesting because she changes the colour of her hair once a week. (I am told the comic book heroine has more depth and is far more likeable.) Combine this with a gorgeous (and now famous) former girlfriend and we have quite an impressive list of trophy arm candy. How original – the nerd gets all the hot girls.

Plus, for all these supposedly kick-ass girls, this is merely a film where the man has to beat up lots of men to get the woman. Yawn.

There is the ubiquitous scene where the girlfriend strips to her underwear and poses sexily on all fours on a bed. And there are scenes of women being struck full force in the face – yes, it is done in a cartoon manner but I fail to find this amusing (unlike the man sitting near to me who guffawed at each subsequent slug).

Plus I didn't laugh once. Some scenes and one-liners were mildly amusing but didn't provoke more than a strained wry grin from me as I tried desperately to work out why everyone in the auditorium seemed to find it hilarious. It's not like the jokes were complicated: “I'm not bi-curious, I'm bi-furious” is about as funny as it gets.

Another problem, and why it deserves a total slating, is that Scott Pilgrim thinks it is better than other films. Unlike tongue-in-cheek movies like The Expendables, which never pretends to be more than a cheesy repackaging of 80s action stars, Scott Pilgrim actually has tickets on itself.

It believes itself to be in the same league as Kick-Ass and the original X-Men but really plumbs the depths of My Super Ex Girlfriend and Tank Girl.

So are there any redeemable qualities?

Well, I have to admit that it looks like a lot of money was spent making this a visual extravaganza and I like the fact that it was an homage to arcade games, writ large on the big screen.

I also thought Chris Evans was great as an action hero ex-boyfriend but, when his cheesy film-within-a-film sub plot becomes more watchable than the main film, it is a bit of a worry.

However, this film has garnered many rave reviews and I think it is really the cinematic equivalent of the love-it-or-hate-it Marmite. And while I won't go far as famed critic Robert Ebert, who recently contended that videogames will never be art, this genre has a long way to go beyond mere visual invention if this film is anything to go by.

The producers may well buy into the theory that the geek will inherit the earth but, with characters and plot as two-dimensional as the early videogames it emulates, it is likely to be an awfully long wait.

For more movie ramblings click here

Movie Nerd Online:
Your Local Guardian: Movie Nred - Facebook Your Local Guardian: Movie Nerd - Twitter