Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (aka the Shaun of the Dead / Hot Fuzz duo) star in the science-fiction comedy Paul. This film is directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad), and it’s not only a mature roadtrip comedy, but also a tribute to nerd culture in general. I laughed out loud a few times, but I don’t think the entire concept worked as well as it should have.
Seth Rogen is the voice of Paul, who is just a rude and vulgar boy in the shape of what everyone thinks an alien looks like. The film tries to turn Paul into a cute E.T.-like creature that we are supposed to love, but I didn’t like him at all. However, I like the story of how Paul crashed onto Earth and got involved in some top secret business which is actually quite clever.
Pegg and Frost have great chemistry, and the two of them are always funny when on screen together. They play two nerds who are travelling to Comic-Con, and on the road back, they bump into Paul. One thing I like about this film is that these guys went totally crazy when they realised that they have discovered a real alien. Their reaction, and also other people’s reactions to seeing Paul are some of the funniest moments of the film.
Kristen Wiig and Jason Bateman have a good amount of screen time, although it’s a pity that Bateman doesn’t get a lot of funny lines. The film has a few action scenes, which are mostly the easy car chases that you usually see in comedies. Towards the end, the film wants you to feel the danger that the protagonists are in, but I didn’t really care if any of them lived or died.
The homage function of Paul includes fun references to Star Trek, Star Wars, Back To The Future, Flash Gordon, Battlestar Galactica, and many many more of your favourite fanboy franchises. There’s even something big in regards to Alien that is no doubt my favourite reference in the film. Paul is sincere, but I don’t think it’s worth going out of your way to see.