Paul. Is. Awesome.
Monday, March 21, 2011 Leave a comment
I’ve been a fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost since twenty minutes into “Shaun of the Dead” back when I first saw it in theaters in 2004. Their undeniable charm and impeccable writing had me hooked on the dynamic British duo instantly. A few years later, the pair returned with “Hot Fuzz“, again working with Writer/Director Edgar Wright to deliver another incredible film. I was sold: these three guys make great fucking movies. My sheer faith in Wright convinced me to watch “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” knowing almost nothing about the film or graphic novel, and it ended up being one of my favorite movies of all time.
This past weekend Pegg and Frost returned to my life with “Paul“, and though Wright wasn’t involved this time, it still keeps up the pair’s reputation for delivering fantastic movies. The movie opens with Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost), a pair of extra-terrestrially obsessed comic book writers, coming to America to attend Comic-Con, and take an RV cross-country road trip to see a handful of famous alien landmarks. Seth Rogen comes into the picture as the voice of Paul, an alien that crash lands on Earth, assimilates to human culture, and ends up running into Clive and Graeme while escaping government imprisonment. The movie is loaded with great celebrity cameos, but I won’t spoil any of those for you. Trust me, the final cameo at the movie’s end is worth the wait, so do yourself a favor and stay away from sites like IMDB until after you’ve seen the flick.
I was a bit worried as to how Seth Rogen would perform as an alien. I thought his voice would be a bit too recognizable to voice a character without breaking the illusion, but this particular alien is basically Rogen with a big green head and beady eyes. Paul’s personality is hilarious; he loves getting drunk and smoking weed, loves dick and fart jokes just like you and I, but has special alien powers like going invisible whenever by just holding his breath.
The pacing in the movie is brilliant, giving you constant action, humor, and heartwarming character development without ever giving you a second to possibly get bored. The characters here are really well thought out, each with their own distinguishable personalities and relationships that ensure tons of laughs when shit hits the fan over and over again throughout the film. Though the writing isn’t as sharp as when Wright is involved, the laughs were still clever and reprising, one of my favorite traits of the Wright-Pegg-Frost movies. Throughout the movie Graeme and Clive are constantly accused of being gay lovers on a honeymoon, constantly criticized on their nerdy, titular comic they’ve written, and make nerdy references to their idol’s work that no one besides them can even understand.
One of my favorite moments I can share without giving anything away about the story is early on in the movie, when Graeme and Clive wander into a roadside diner near Area 51. Determined to get as much alien-inspired swag as possible, Graeme decides to buy a bumper sticker for the RV that reads “Alien on Board”. This obvious foreshadowing is especially funny now that the audience is blatantly aware of what’s to come at this point. Once the duo meet Paul, and decide to aid him in his run from the law, the first thing Graeme does before hitting the road again is urgently rip the bumper sticker off the RV as to not declare Paul to the men in black pursuing them.
Paul is an exceptional movie just as you’d expect it to be if you were a fan of “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz”. The story is great, the jokes are hilarious and memorable, and my popcorn was deliciously buttered, so I really couldn’t ask for more. Do yourself a favor and watch this movie so Simon Pegg and Nick Frost get the recognition they deserve for another outstanding flick. I already can’t wait for their next project.
Verdict: 4.5 / 5