It’s not often that I jump ahead of my review queue, but for Paul, I’m making that exception. Why? Well, it was just released here in the states last weekend, which means you have more time to actually go out and see it. Were I to be reviewing the top of the list, you’d be reading about Hellraiser right now, which sure as shit isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I’m surprised how few people know what this movie is. Maybe it’s because I am what some people might call a “nerd”, but I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out for months now, and I’m pretty sure I had to explain what it was to at least three or four people. I mean, come on! What’s not to like?! British people, aliens, and, well, do you really need a third reason?!
I know they are famous actors and everything, but I was still fucking jealous to see that they got to go to SDCC.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play Graeme and Clive, respectively, two aspiring sci-fi writers who are exploring America, starting with the San Diego Comic Con. Being their first visit to America, they can’t think of a better way to explore the country than by visiting all of the major U.F.O. hotspots they can find. While exploring one, they see a car crash in front of them, and upon further investigation, it turns out to be an alien, who goes by the name Paul, voiced by Seth Rogen. That’s where the movie gets its name from! After the initial shock of interacting with an alien, the duo decide to help Paul get back to where his spaceship is supposed to pick him up. Along the way, they pick up a super-religious, recently reformed woman, played by Kristen Wiig, while being chased by federal agents, played by Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, and Joe Lo Truglio, only to reach a big climactic final scene with a pretty funny cameo by someone who has their fair share of sci-fi credentials. I won’t spoil that reference, because it’s pretty funny, and everything ends up with a relatively happy ending. Hoo-ray!
I’ve been to Roswell, NM, and ya know what? It fucking sucks. I ate a shitty burger at the “Cover-Up Cafe” and everyone tried to take my money for dusty old alien statues. There was one really fat guy who looked like he hadn’t stepped outside in years and became glued to his rolling chair, though.
I laughed quite a few times during this movie and certainly enjoyed the film, but my immediate reaction to it was a little let down. I had high hopes for the movie and had been looking forward to it for quite some time, but I had felt like there were one too many “dumb” jokes, that weren’t all that creative. I had assumed this had something to do with the Americanization of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, until I realized they were the ones who had written it. Upon further reflection, I realized I had felt the same exact way I felt after seeing Paul as I had after seeing Hot Fuzz. I knew that these movies were funny, but there was something odd about them. I can realize now that the reason I had that feeling after Hot Fuzz was because it was actually a pretty decent movie. Even without the humor, it was a genre film that did a great job recreating that genre, and it is the same with Paul. Considering it was a classic road trip/buddy comedy, of course there are going to be some “dumb” or corny jokes, but considering how many other kinds of jokes there were, I shouldn’t focus on the negative, since this film was a wacky spin on an old formula.
I’m glad they didn’t try any of that bullshit from Independence Day where they wanted to surprise you with what the aliens looked like and make them look all different. Although, to be fair, they are usually referred to as little grey men, not little green ones. Assholes.
Considering how huge of nerds Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are, I expected a certain level of references to things I enjoy. Add to that the fact that the actors were nerds, portraying characters that were nerds, hanging out with an alien, and spending time at the biggest comic book convention in the world, well, yeah, I expected quite a few chuckles that maybe Rampaige would never understand. The references were minimal, at best, for over an hour, and I was starting to get worried. However, the closer to the end it got, the more references were made, and they were all made in organic ways, to the point that you didn’t really see them coming. Quotes from Star Wars and Aliens were slipped in there, and probably more that I just can’t recall. The best one, I would have to say, is that a scene in a bar that the gang stops at has a jug band playing up on stage, and the song they’re playing is the song that Figiran D’an and the Modal Nodes played in the cantina scene in Mos Eisley in Star Wars. Subtle, yet awesome. Kristen Wiig also ended up being more entertaining in this movie than I was expecting, so good for her!
Wolfman Moon Scale