Paul Review

Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen
Director: Greg Mottola
Release Date: August 9, 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Before I dive deep into my review of Paul, I think I should admit right here, right now that I love Simon Pegg. I could watch Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz on a continuous loop for the rest of my life. I feel that they are some of the smartest, funniest movies around. What these two movies have in common is a triple threat. The trifecta in this case is Pegg, his trusty, hefty sidekick Nick Frost, and director Edgar Wright (who also co-wrote the films with Pegg). So, let's go down the list, shall we? Pegg can act, be hilarious, looks great in a cop's uniform, annnnd he can write. It's because of all of these reasons, plus many more, that I love Simon Pegg. This will not, however, sway my review of Paul.... And this is unfortunate for Mr. Pegg.
Paul is about two British nerds who come to America to attend Comic-Con and to see America's UFO heartland. Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) are both stuck in their pathetic little lives until they come across an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen). This CGI creation isn't the cute little alien from E.T. who could barely speak a few words. Paul can smoke, drink, tell dirty jokes (gee, I wonder why they cast Rogen in the part). He's been held prisoner in Area 51 since the 1940s, so he gets Graeme and Clive to try to help him get back to his home planet. And hilarity ensues!! Or so I had thought...
This movie is filled with sight gags, crude humor and predictable plotlines. I guessed the ending to the movie after watching the first 15 minutes. The big surprise cameo at the end didn't thrill me either (then again, I don't think that anyone can ever top Bill Murray's cameo in Zombieland). There were also a lot of "inside" jokes referencing other sci-fi movies or television shows that didn't exactly blow my skirt up either. When I went to see it in the theatre, there were about seven guys in the row ahead of me. No girls were with them. A couple of them were wearing Star Wars shirts. Most of them looked like their moms cut their hair. You get the picture. Anyway, after every reference, they would all laugh hysterically and one would say to the rest something like, "Did you know that that line's from Alien? Did you know that?" I'm guessing they all knew.
When I saw the trailer for Paul, I couldn't imagine how this movie could go wrong. Not only does it have Pegg, Frost and Rogen starring, but the supporting actors are equally hilarious. Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, and Bill Hader? If you're making a comedy, these are the people you want in it. Somehow they just weren't enough to help this movie crawl from the pit of despair it had settled into. How could this be? I think I know. Edgar Wright didn't touch this film. He didn't direct or co-write it. Pegg and Frost were the ones to pen the script and Greg Mottola (Adventureland, Superbad) directed. The trifecta had been broken. It all made perfect sense! But then I realized how awesome Scott Pilgrim was (which Wright directed) and Pegg/Frost didn't have a hand in it. Maybe Pegg and Frost need Wright more than Wright needs them. Hmmm..... I'm going to have to rethink my whole trifecta theory.
Regardless of the fact that I did not like Paul, I will always love Simon Pegg through his good and bad films. I would also like to say that I had some friends who found it very funny, so please don't let this review stop you from watching it. And let's not forget those guys sitting in front of me in the theatre who found the film so clever they had to announce it to the theatre every five minutes or so. Those poor, poor guys... They may have been girlfriendless, but, oh, how they laughed that night!

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