SYNOPSIS: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) reunite for the comedy adventure Paul as two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever.
For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. For reasons unknown, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town—a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Frost).
Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes.
Graeme Willy: Whats the matter Clive?
Clive Gollings: There is an alien in the kitchen making bagels and coffee.
Graeme Willy: Did you want tea?
Clive Gollings: No, I don't want tea!
Graeme Willy: Right, because tea is weird in America.
Here’s an idea; let’s take the most endearing and lovable alien in cinematic history, ET, and hand his story over to the people that made Superbad and see what happens. Well, the end result is Paul and it’s a blast, pun intended. The concept is great. Finally we have a cool alien who is hip, witty, in touch with humanity, and can speak normal English. Ironically, I would say that this is one of Seth Rogen’s best performances. Throw in some Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and you’ve got quite a combo. Three comedic masters working together to make this movie very funny, awesome, and just plain fun. The icing on the cake is Kristen Wiig. She complements these guys very well and adds a lot to the comedy of this film. There is a slew of supporting cast members that also add to the comedy. People like Jane Lynch, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, and Joe Lo Truglio make the movie that much better. It was interesting to see Jason in a more “serious” role in this film as he played a Government Agent, cool, calm, collected, and mean. Now putting all this talent in the hands of Director Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland) makes for a pretty darn good movie. He gets the best out of his cast and uses them all efficiently. Keep in mind that this is a rated R movie so even though I wouldn’t say it’s raunchy, it does have plenty of silly foul language (as Priscilla puts it) and plenty of adult humor and subject matter, so it’s not a kid movie. Priscilla and I also noticed the subtle references to other popular alien related movies like ET of course, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Aliens as in Sigourney Weaver plays a supporting role in this picture. It was fun to see how they tied those into this story. One thing neither of us liked is how, once again, Christians are portrayed in a bad light as being ignorant, close-minded, stubborn, and radical. There seems to be a trend lately in some movies and we are not crazy about it but we realize that a large part of comedy is exaggerating stereotypes. It has been done to many other religions and ethnicities so what can you do. At least it does have some positive messages, such as the importance of friendship.
So let’s recap shall we. We’ve got a great concept, a great cast, with a good comedy Director. So why is this movie not quite as good as Superbad? The story itself is not that impressive. It could have been beefed up a little to take advantage of its potential but it focused mostly on the humor of the situation. It does have quality humor though so it makes up for it. The cinematography and various filming locations were decent too. Other than the comedy, the next best aspect of this movie is the special effects, namely Paul. He looks good and real, and he looks real good. Even though it’s Seth, you actually get attached and start feeling for the little guy. He is actually kind of cute. You might catch yourself wanting to have an alien buddy of your own.
By Cine Marcos
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