¨This is America. Kidnapping a Christian is worse than harboring a fugitive.¨
British comedians, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, are back again with a new comedy following up their successful movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. In Shaun of the Dead they satirized George A. Romero`s zombie films, while in Hot Fuzz they did the same thing with pretty much every Hollywood action film from Bad Boys to Terminator. Now with Paul they try to satirize pretty much every movie involving aliens and the Roswell incident. It`s also a buddy road trip comedy. I was a huge fan of Pegg and Frost`s first two films, but Paul really didn’t work for me since I was expecting more from this great duo. I also had huge expectations knowing Greg Mottola was going to direct their movie since I really loved his earlier films: Superbad and Adventureland. The movie was really disappointing and I found the comedy in it really cheap. Sorry critics but I had more fun with The Hangover sequel than I did with this. I didn’t find anything fresh about this comedy. It would have worked better as a skit for Saturday Night Live. It`s too bad because both Frost and Pegg are great actors, and there were also some interesting cameos from some great American actors. Seth Rogen is always funny, but his voice for the alien Paul never felt too connect with me since I kept on imagining him smoking pot while giving the alien a voice. There were really very few funny scenes that worked for me. I know these guys can write much better scripts because they`ve done it before. Paul is just another silly forgettable movie.
Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are two best friends who`ve decided to travel from England to San Diego for the Comic-Con Convention. They are having the time of their life, meeting some interesting people and doing what all sci-fi geeks do. After spending the evening at the Convention they decide to take a road trip across America´s UFO highway trying to reach New Mexico and the crash site of the supposed Roswell incident that took place over half a century ago. While they`re on their way they have an accident and nearly crash into another vehicle. The other vehicle spins out of the highway and when they stop to see if there`s anyone hurt they discover the alien. He isn’t harmed and tells them his name is Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) and he`s been working at a secret military base for the US government for the past 60 years after his spaceship crashed in Roswell. He has finally decided to escape after realizing he was being kept prisoner and asks Graeme and Clive to help him return to his space ship so he can finally leave this planet and return home. The duo accepts to help Paul in his mission and decide to take him along with them on their RV. They soon discover that they are being followed by Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) and two other officers, Haggard (Bill Hader) and O`Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio). To make matters worse they also sort of accidently kidnap a young woman named Ruth (Kristen Wiig) so her father Moses (John Carroll Lynch) is also trying to track them down and so the chase begins.
The actors are pretty actually good in this film, but the screenplay was just far too silly and Paul didn’t really work as a smart alien satire film in the same way that their earlier movies had worked. There were a couple of funny scenes like when Paul revives a dead bird only to eat him afterwards because hey he wasn’t going to eat a dead bird. That was perhaps the highlight of the movie for me. There are also some supporting roles and cameos from the funny Jane Lynch, Sigourney Weaver who starred in the Aliens franchise, and Jeffrey Tambor. The rest of the movie consisted of gay and anal jokes which weren’t really funny and several anti-Christian remarks; nothing remarkably original at all. Paul was simply a very silly and forgettable movie and there isn’t really much more I can add to my review. I know that it is one of those movies that can’t be taken seriously, and I actually enjoy a lot of those movies, but this was just a poor attempt at comedy. I hope Pegg and Frost get on the right track for their next film and work a little harder on the screenplay. I also hope Greg Mottola goes on directing another Adventureland type of film: funny but smart and touching at the same time. I really wasn’t a huge fan of Paul, but perhaps it just wasn’t my type of film considering several other critics seemed to have a good time with it so you might want to check it out; just don’t expect another Shaun of the Dead kind of comedy this time.