Everyone likes friendly aliens. E.T., Mac & Me, Close Encounters. Go ahead and add Paul to that list, because he is one rad little alien, and his movie isn’t half bad either!
First off, I find it necessary to point out, as obvious as it may be, that this is a Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movie that stars Seth Rogan. You may not see his goofy face, but this is definitely that kind of movie. If you didn’t like Knocked Up, Sean of the Dead, Pineapple Express, Hot Fuzz, or any other movie featuring these people, chances are you won’t like Paul. That being said, if you DO enjoy this type of humor, then Paul is a must see movie for you!
Not to give too much away, but here is a basic synopsis. The movie follows the ultimate sci-fi vacation for British nerds Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost). They come to America to attend ComicCon in San Diego, and then rent an RV to take a trip throughout the Southwest to visit all the must-see alien hotspots.
Along the way, they run into some interesting characters and situations, and end up meeting Paul (voiced by Seth Rogan), a chain smoking, potty-mouthed, cargo shorts-wearing alien, after he crashes a car on the side of the highway. He enlists the help of Graeme and Clive, who are beyond stoked to have met an alien, to help him get to a spot where he can hitch a ride back to his home planet. Paul explains he has been on earth for 60 years hanging out at a top secret military base (Area 51?) lending his knowledge to government missions and influencing pop culture, until he discovers they are interested in more than just his opinion, and he decided it was time to bail.
Like most other alien flicks, they are being chased by the men in black; Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman), the dimwitted Agent Haggard (Bill Hader) and Agent O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio), and The Big Guy (Sigourney Weaver). While trying to ditch the feds, they end up kidnapping the devoutly religious RV park owner Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig) after she sees Paul, who ends up along for the ride.
The rest isn’t too terribly complicated (or that hard to follow or figure out), and is chock full of cursing, pot, booze, and sexual innuendos. Like other movies of this genre, and especially those by these filmmakers and actors, it is pretty on point: dry crude humor, with some laugh out loud moments. Definitely not a family movie, even though the message of the film is pretty lighthearted (be who you are, don’t judge a book by its cover, yada yada.)
It’s also full of a lot of great and unexpected cameos. Jane Lynch, David Koechner, and Jeffery Tambor make memorable, though brief appearances, and Sigourney Weaver’s role is so subtle, by the time she actually appears you have completely forgotten she is even in the film (and not in a bad way at all).
There are plenty of twists, turns, and surprises in this film, which doesn’t bore at all. Unfortunately, films like these aren’t usually critically acclaimed, but don’t let any crappy reviews deter you. If you want a good chuckle (not to mention the full length trailers for Scream 4 and Thor), Paul is totally worth the money. Just don’t bring the kids.
What do those of you who have seen Paul think of the film? Leave us some comments below and let us know, and check out the trailer for Paul in case you need a movie refresher!