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Film Review: Paul

14 Jul

 Two sci-fi nerds from England, Clive Gollings (NickFrost) and Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) are geeking out at their holiday of lifetime starting with visit to San Diego Comicon. Next they rent an RV head off on trip round various well-known alien encounter sites. On their first night out a car speeds down the road out nowhere, overtakes them and crashes right in front of them. They get out to see if the driver needs help and discover the driver is Paul (Seth Rogen), a short green wise cracking ET. Paul begs them to help him escape from a mysterious government agency led by The Big Man (Sigourney Weaver). He has been held for 60 years while he was interrogated for all his knowledge and now they have finished doing that they want to cut him up to learn about his special alien abilities. He  has escaped and now needs to go meet a rescue ship. Graeme agrees to help eagerly but Clive is less certain but finally goes along with it.

They stop for the night at a trailer park run by Creationist Christian Moses Buggs (John Carroll Lynch) and his daughter Ruth (Kristen Wiig). When Ruth comes round to collect their money for berthing up for night she meets Paul and she collapses in dead faint from the shock. They flee from the park in a panic with the still unconscious Ruth. Moses alerts the police and soon government agents turn up, led by Agent Zoil and rookie agents Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio).  The agents and Moses Bugg chase after the RV as it head towards Paul’s rendezvous with his rescue ship

This film is a lot of fun. It’s not a hilariously funny film and I found I was sniggering a lot but there were few big laughs. Clive and Graeme are Frost and Pegg and they are charming naturally funny guys and are also as nerdy in real life as their characters.In this film they got to play characters that allowed them to indulge their interests. the script is full of lines taken from classic sci-fi films and I enjoyed playing spot the references. A lot the humour is pretty crude and there is a running gag that Paul has inspired many of the ideas of modern popular culture. Paul is amusing but I wondered if  there was a problem dubbing on Seth Rogen’s voice because it didn’t quite blend in with sound of the film and there were times I could tell it was recorded in a studio far far away

The rest of the cast are pretty good though I did think Ruth and especially Moses were bit of a caricature. I know it was done for laughs but it was a bit of an easy target to poke fun at the crazy Christians. In a lot films about friendly aliens on Earth we get the innocent alien learning about human culture but Paul is already an expert and it is Ruth who learns about this strange new world of swearing and penises and kissing boys. The agents especially were a lot of fun. Sigourney Weaver was great playing The Big Man as an over the top mega bitch and I am sure Simon Pegg will treasure his scene with her near the end for a long time.

Rating 7/10

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1092026/

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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Entertainment, Film

 

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