Sunday, May 06, 2012


There are your usual alien movies, and then there's Paul. This is one alien who's not jumping out of someone's stomach, for sure.
Two Brits live an adult-long dream and go to the States for the first time to attend Comic-Con in San Diego. After the big event, they rent an RV and drive to mysterious geographical environs like Area 51, just to take stupid photos and dream about alien invasions. While there, however, they encounter the real thing. And that's when their real adventure begins.
If you're a fan of the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost co-writing duo, you'll want to take a look at Paul. "Paul" is the name of the alien, who was named after a little girl's dog, who disappeared while looking into a fallen spaceship. That sentence is about as complicated as it gets here, although the British tourists do wind up getting chased by born-again Christians and government agents on their journey, mostly because they have this funny-looking dude in their RV.
Paul is the rudest, most foul-mouthed alien you'll ever meet, and that's because he's voiced by Seth Rogen, something that is so totally transparent to be downright funny in its own right. Most of the jokes are around how unstereotypical this alien is. Fart jokes are not beyond this movie, trust me. If you're a Seth Rogen fan (take a look at 50/50 for some of his best, most recent work), you will love this little guy.
The movie, true to Pegg/Frost, has a storyline with a moral line thrown in for good measure, and although it doesn't even closely resemble the touchdown the two scored with "Shaun of the Dead," it has its own funny moments. Casting helps -- Kristen Wiig is employed as a love interest, Bill Hader (also from Saturday Night Live) is a young FBI agent, Jason Bateman as a veteran FBI agent, and Jane Lynch, briefly, as a shopkeeper in Area 51. There are several other veteran character actors sprinkled along the road, but I don't want to spoil the surprises. Also, there are several references to sci fi movies that I found terribly delightful. They will whiz right by you if you're not paying attention.
Paul isn't terribly clever, but it does have some guffaw-quality moments. Thumb's up.


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