Paul

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Relativity Media

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Greg Mottola

Review Rating: 6 Motor Homes

A pair of British friends go on a tour of American alien-encounter sites, only to encounter a real alien named Paul.

So, I thought when the movie opened with the pair of total Brit geeks going to Comic-Con in San Diego, that I might actually enjoy this movie. And indeed, there are parts where I laughed aloud. But for the most part, the movie seems rushed and there are so many plots just left dangling. Paul never explains where he came from, what he’s doing on Earth, who’s chasing him really or why, although the female voice of the commander in charge of the Suits after Paul will sound familiar – I wish she had been in more of the movie.

Paul the alien is of course nothing but CGI, and voice inevitably by Seth Rogan. For some reason the voice kept reminding me of Norm from Cheers, but that dates me. At any rate, Rogan’s voice gives Paul a very human manner, which isn’t necessarily a good thing for the storyline (what there is of it), but gives Paul the character personality in spades. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who’ve already done Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz together, star as Graeme and Clive, the Brit pals off on their Area 51 style tour. They do manage to pull off a camaraderie of two guy geek pals without coming across as gay, despite being mistaken for it all across America. Jason Bateman, I remember him, stars as Agent Zoil, one of the lead Suits off chasing Paul. Kristen Wiig, of SNL and Knocked Up and many other voices fame, stars as Ruth, the rather redneck love interest that Graeme inevitably picks up. And yes, I suppose you could call it a spoiler, the voice of the Big Guy, as she’s called, turns out to be Sigourney Weaver.

Paul seems to focus much more on human relations, how we relate to eachother despite our differences, rather than any kind of Sci-Fi alien presence here on Earth omg. Which is actually fine, as it turns out, Rogan and Frost and Pegg all have a tendency to make movies that celebrate the awkwardness in relationships we all seem to suffer and thrive on, and the love that binds us together as human. And it’s certainly much better than Pineapple Express. I’ll give Paul a rating of 6 Motor Homes, and leave it as another attempt to understand all of us geeks.


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