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Paul

Paul

What She said:

She

I love the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movies (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), and so I was very excited to hear that Paul was finally coming to Blu-ray.  Paul stars the aforementioned as super nerds in every meaning of the word.  They trek from England out to San Diego for Comic Con so they can meet their heroes and indulge in some sci-fi role playing.  As part of their trip, the two gents, their characters named Clive and Graeme, rent an RV and decide to hit up the many alien folklore and conspiracy hubs of the Southwest.  Afterall, as we all know, “the truth is out there.” 

Along the way, Clive and Graeme encounter a little green alien (very stereotypical looking) named Paul who is on the run from Area 51.  Paul seems pretty laid back and is not at all evil, but he is extremely crude, which is why it was fitting he be voiced by none other than Seth Rogen.  The alien asks the pair to help him safely reunite with a spaceship sent for him so that he can get away from the government before they dissect his brain.  What follows is a sort of buddy comedy mixed with lots of jokes about anal probing and alien genitalia.   

The nerd in me enjoyed this movie.  It’s fun to see all the references to Star Wars and other staples of the genre (although that did seem slightly forced and overdone).  However, the film fan in me was a bit disappointed.  I thought that both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were so keenly funny and well written, but Paul seemed to rely on the same two or three potty jokes.  The premise had so much promise, but the nuts and bolts of it were lazily executed.  Dare I insult the lead actors for their sloppy writing?  Don’t get me wrong, I was quite amused at times.  Pegg and Frost are, as always, a duo bound by undeniable comic chemistry.  However, I couldn’t help but wish for something more.  The movie felt uneven, teetering the line between a cult classic, buddy flick, raunchy comedy, and mainstream laugher.  And the jokes seemed stale at times.

Would I rent this movie?  For sure.  Although I do have a word of warning for those who are religious.  There is a whole level of the plot that questions the soundness of Evangelical thought.  Many will find it distasteful and disrespectful.  Aside from that, Paul offers some good laughs and a fun storyline.  Shame it didn’t live up to the precedent set by Pegg and Frost’s other flicks.

Thumbs half up.

What he said:

He

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have been working together for quite some time. They worked on various films and TV shows since the late 90s.  But it wasn’t until 2004’s Shaun of the Dead that the two found mainstream success. Since then the two have gone on to star in Hotfuzz and Paul together, as well as many more projects individually. So you might say expectations for this movie were fairly high amongst nerds and comedy fans alike.

Paul is the story of Clive and Graeme (Pegg and Frost) and their trek across the U.S. as they hit up just about every U.F.O. hotspot they can think of. Along the way they bump into all kinds of crazy characters, one of which is Paul; a real life alien.

Paul (voice by Seth Rogen) is a crass, but rather amusing alien. He likes to kick back, relax, and have a good time. He’s just got a little work to do in the manners department.

It is a funny movie. It certainly entertained me, but I don’t really have a whole lot to say about it. The various pop culture and sci-fi references were very much appreciated by this nerd. There just wasn’t a whole lot of ‘umpf” to the movie and began falling a little flat towards the very end. It was not bad at all, but simply not as memorable as Shaun of the Dead or Hotfuzz.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written on August 15, 2011.