Judging by the trailers, I thought Paul was going to end up as a mixed bag. It had potential to be really funny, given the perfect casting and decent director, but it also felt like it could be trying too hard to make you laugh. Ladies and gentlemen let me be the first to tell you that Paul was great! It sort of landed in the middle territory for this type of film. It’s not a perfect comedy like Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead, but it definitely isn’t a stinker. I think the only big problem this movie is going to face is the constant comparison to films like SOTD and HF, because both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are in this, but let me remind you that those two previous films were directed by Edgar Wright and Paul was directed by Greg Mottola, who previously directed Superbad and Adventureland. While Paul does contain lots of great jokes and humor, it isn’t the full fledged British comedy that SOTD or HF managed to be.
Paul is about an alien named Paul (surprised?) who is on the run from a secret government agency. During his escape, he runs into two geeks from Comic Con, who are played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg plays Graeme and Frost plays Clive. Both actors channel their usual silliness and manage to play off of each other very well. As they are traveling from Comic Con to alien sightings like Area 51, they come in contact with Paul, who is voiced by Seth Rogen. Paul is a very down to earth type alien. I loved how they made Paul such a nice alien that manages to fit all these stereotypes that people have made about aliens. He has in invisible shield; he loves Reese’s Pieces and he thinks that humans have small heads!
The rest of the movie is played out as a usual chase styled film. We have the main three characters on the run from the agency and along the way they run into several funny supporting characters until they finally reach a destination. The mission for Paul is to make contact with his home world and go home and the mission for Graeme and Clive is to have the best time of their lives!
What really works in Paul is the comedy. The director had so many great actors and actresses to work with that it was almost impossible to make this one bad. You have Bill Hader, Jason Bateman, Jane Lynch, Kristen Wiig and the always wonderful Joe Lo Truglio. Not to mention the main cast of Rogen, Frost and Pegg. Every scene managed to gel perfectly and I think everyone knew what they were aiming for. The movie felt like a blast and I couldn’t stop laughing. Another thing I enjoyed was all of the alien movie references, some people might find it annoying that they throw these in scene after scene, but I tend to like this kind of humor. There are a lot of jokes that might fly under a few people’s radar, but if you actually pay attention, you will be rewarded with laughter!
The only problem I might have with Paul is the replay value. It’s too early to tell, but it felt like this one might not be as great the second time around. I do plan on seeing it sometime again, but I might wait a few weeks and let it soak in. Who knows though, this could end up being a lot of fun the second time around and it could end up leading to multiple watches on home video.
Overall, Paul is a blast. It’s stupid and fun, but full of laughter. Everyone involved with this movie seemed like they knew exactly what they were making. Nothing fell flat and everything managed to work out perfectly. The jokes are great, but a little different then SOTD and HF, so don’t go in expecting that level of humor. Walk into Paul expecting a fun, alien road trip movie and you will be very pleased. I suggest seeing this in theaters with a group of friends!
Paul – 8/10