Director: Greg Mottola
Screenplay: Simon Pegg, order Nick Frost
Release Date: March 18, 2011
Actors: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kristin Wiig, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Signourey Weaver, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, Jane Lynch, David Koechner, Jesse Plemons, Jane Lynch, Blythe Danner
Have you ever had a dream to befriend an alien? You haven’t? Okay, so maybe this dream is only for nerds, or perhaps it was sprouted from E.T.’s first appearance on the big screen, but was much too creepy for this chick. Paul would either be your new annoying pal or your new best friend. He will outdo you in everything though, including turning invisible and having the tiny gift for healing animals and human ailments. He however, can’t drive worth a lick.
If this doesn’t give you a quick idea of what kind of comedy Paul is, here’s a quick summmary. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play best buddies Graeme and Clive from London, England who have made the long flight over to San Diego to attend the Comic-Con convention. (And for this Comic-con goer, it was a lot of fun seeing these scenes of them at the Gaslamp Quarter, crossing the road to the convention center!) Their plan is to rent an RV and hit all the alien suspected spots in the US. Unexpectedly, early on in their trip, they frightfully run into Paul – who looks like the standard huge black almond eyed, short green eyed alien – with a few tricks up his sleeve.
Along the way, they pick up Ruth Buggs (Kristin Wiig) during their stay at an RV camp by accident, and are currently running from both the FBI (headed by Jason Bateman’s character as Agent Zoil), and Ruth’s dad (John Carroll Lynch). Other shenanigans are abound by officers Haggard and O’Reilly (Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio) who have little idea as to why they’re trying to catch this RV and what they’re exactly looking for, but follow Zoil’s lead into the desert. Graeme and Clive don’t really know why people are after Paul, but Paul is determined to get to his destination safely so he can go home (you know, like E.T. but less creepy).
The voice of Paul is done by Seth Rogen, which fits the character so well. Sometimes though, instead of hearing Paul, it’s just Seth Rogen you’re hearing. Thankfully, Paul is not overpoweringly annoying (which Seth Rogen can be) due to Rogen’s lack of presence. In fact, the CG in this movie is terrific. Though Paul is clearly CGI, it’s not distracting as one might think and because the story is so enthralling and there clearly is dimension to his character, it’s easy to forget that Paul is computer generated at all. The supporting actors all aid to the hilarity of this road trip adventure, with some terrific one liners, one that easily comes to mind in a scene that Kristin Wiig shouts as she runs out of the RV. I won’t spoil it though, because it’s no fun when you know the joke coming!
In general, I’m not sure I really enjoy road trip movies, but “Paul” is in a word: awesome. Many sci-fi film fanatics will recognize and appreciate the countless references to other popular sci-fi films and shows such as “Star Trek”, “Star Wars”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”; the list goes on. It’s definitely not for everyone. I’ve had a few comments made by friends saying they don’t like Seth Rogen or don’t like the guy humor. I don’t normally enjoy Judd Apatow movies, who I think has revolutionized the idea of what a romantic comedy is as there are no more classics like “Sleepless in Seattle” or “Notting Hill” being made, and instead we are left with vulgar male romances ala “Knocked Up” (probably the worst “romance” movie, even worse than “The Ugly Truth” though both have the pain inducing Katherine Heigl — at least for me). But I’m going off track here, as “Paul” is strictly an adventure movie, and a hilarious one at that, thanks to the witty minds of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It IS vulgar however, so it isn’t for everyone. It’s got a mix of that American humor mixed in with the British (and if anyone knows me, I love British humor), which is at times, a bit odd given that it resorts to more vulgarity and less wittiness to be funny, but in the end, remains fun and that’s what truly matters in a movie such as “Paul”.
So, in the end.. I would highly recommend it if you can handle vulgar, in your face comedies. But it’s not so over the top that it’s enjoyable. The best thing to do is just sit back, laugh, and enjoy the road trip! 4 Puddle Pools / 5 Puddle Pools
If you liked this movie, you might like these:
Hot Tub Time Machine, Hot Fuzz, The Hangover
Watch the Trailer: