Posted on 2/16/11 07:58 PM
Paul is a 2011 sci-fi/comedy starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Seth Rogen and directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad), not Edgar Wright. It also features Jason Bateman, Kristin Wiig, Sigourney Weaver, and a bunch of cameos. Pegg and Frost play two English geeks who go to Comicon and then travel across the Southwest to visit popular UFO-related hot spots. Frost is a struggling sci-fi author and Pegg is his illustrator. Along the way, they meet Paul (voiced by Rogen) who looks like the stereotypical alien. They try to help him escape the men in black and reach a meeting point where his people will take him back to his homeworld. This isn't a spoiler or surprise, it's 90% of the film.
This movie might divide some people. It has the chemistry of Pegg and Frost again, but it doesn't really have the exact same feel as their other movies. It does have Mottola directing instead of Wright (Superbad was real funny, Adventureland sucked). It wasn't a huge dissapointment, but it did blow some potential, especially since this is the pair's biggest budget and gives them some pretty capable co-stars. Paul the alien was kinda funny, but not that hilarious. It was just an average performance by Rogen (who I actually really like). There were a lot of funny jokes and sight gags in the movie, but only a couple made me crack up. Others kinda bombed and went by without a laugh. Nerds will love this movie, but it has plenty of other comedy for most audiences.
The thing I liked most about this movie are the inside jokes and references. It references many popular sci-fi movies like Aliens, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Star Trek, E.T., X-Files, and even Mac and Me (I was the only one in the theater that got the joke from this awful 80s family movie). It also has tracks from Electric Light Orchestra who are noted for their association with flying saucers at their concerts and album covers.
In the end, Paul is kind of a slightly above average movie. It has Simon Pegg and Nick Frost together again, a decently cool storyline even though it was pretty predictable, nice special effects, and plenty of quick jokes that some people might not immediately get. A few scenes fell flat and the director definitely only used half the film's true potential. Paul certainly felt more like a Greg Mottola movie than a Pegg/Wright/Frost flick. But, if you're a sci-fi fan like me and really like Pegg & Frost I'm sure you'll like this movie. If you just like comedy in general, it's worth at least 1 viewing.