Paul (2011)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
For the nerds.

This film was selected from ‘The 250’

So back in the day, my brothers and I were busy collaborating together a movie project that would involve a big budget and a long road trip. A road trip where we would hit the major UFO tourist spots in the country, you know, Area 51, Roswell, and the likes. We would also run into a hitchiker that turns out to be an alien, and they would need our help to get get back home. We had this whole outline that was several pages long…and then Paul came out. It’s not exactly the same thing, but the overall plot was remarkably similar…so in a way…it was cool to see our project done Hollywood-style.

Paul tells the story of British nerds Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost), who have just travelled to the United States to visit all of the tourist hot spots for alien activity. It is then that they run into Paul, a rude and foul-mouthed alien that has been on the run from the Men in Black and must find a way to return home before he is dissected in order for the government to learn all of his secrets.

Obviously, this movie was made by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the two guys most commonly known for the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy – and I’m sure plenty have gotten this confused with those, but this is not part of the same series. It is, however, just as funny in a lot of ways. As far as the comedy itself goes, I have to say that the entire cast was brilliant, but I actually found the funniest performances were those other than Pegg and Frost. Don’t get me wrong, they were hilarious too, but I mean those performances by Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig? Incredible, especially Kristen Wiig’s character’s insistent attitude on swearing, and what she considers swear words.

This movie was also made for nerds, and being an alien movie, it references just about every alien film ever made up to the year 2011. I’m not sure if everyone would be able to catch those references if they haven’t seen those movies…but if they haven’t…they deserve to have a bad time watching this film…what’s wrong with you!? Seriously, though, there are so many pop-culture references throughout this film that it’s hard not to catch at least one, and they are used in good taste, not cheaply copied off of.

As for the plot, what can I say? It’s an adventure flick. It’s not incredibly demanding in terms of substance for the plot. They are travelling on the road and apart from the setting in the beginning, most of the movie is really in an unspecific area. What’s most important is character interaction and chemistry, as well as how good the comedy is written. To be honest, those things alone are really well prepared. Even the fact that these two are British. I couldn’t imagine the movie being equally as funny if the leads were Americans. Also, I don’t know why, but every time they use an RV in a movie or TV show, it’s always a really unique aspect for some reason.

The Good:

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are the British Gods of Comedy. You know it, I know it, the whole world should know that by now. Paul is a really good alien comedy that references just about every alien flick ever made and features a collection of cast members that all work really well together and create a hilariously fun ride.

The Bad:

First of all, one of the most diverse genres in film is comedy. Everyone has a different sense of humor, and Paul probably hits that area of uncertainty for many people because it features a lot of clichés and unoriginal material. It also favors evolution and does a hilarious job at making fun of creationists, which granted, is probably really mean-spirited towards them and they won’t be able to enjoy the movie. The story is also okay, being an adventure, but it doesn’t have an incredible display of substance.

The Random:

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost came up with the concept for Paul while waiting out a rainstorm on the set of Shaun of the Dead


3 thoughts on “Paul (2011)

  1. I loved it- although I haven’t got a single clue about sci fi. But I also think you’re right with saying that it hits that area of uncertainty, because I can imagine that lots of people not liking it.


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