Something about Paul made me very reluctant to see it. I very much enjoy the work of the people involved, but I don't think I care about road trip movies in the least. And when you throw an alien into the mix, it seems like it would only make things worse, not better. But I ventured forth and embraced the unknown, just like Fox Mulder would want me to, and I think I'm better off for it. As it turns out, Paul is a pretty damn funny flick.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play Graeme and Clive, two best buds that travel all the way from England to San Diego, California to attend Comic-Con International. They're nerds, as they're constantly referred to as throughout the film. English nerds, to be exact. After Comic-Con, they set out on a tour of UFO sightings and alien crash sites across the country, but things change when they run into an actual alien.
I love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and I'm far from the only one. While each actor is funny and entertaining on his own, the two make a dynamic duo, as evidenced in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. On the other hand, Seth Rogen as the voice of Paul threw for a bit of a loop. Hollywood has been a bit saturated with Rogen lately and the man has such a recognizable voice, that it was a bit hard to buy him at first. This problem went away in time and by the end of the film, I really couldn't imagine anyone but Rogen playing such a lovable character.
Any shortcomings Paul has as a film, it makes up for by being laugh out loud funny. This might not be very reassuring to lovers of cinema, and you could still certainly criticize Paul as a film, but it's just hard to do so when you're laughing so hard. If nothing else, Paul is entertaining throughout, even when the plot sort of meanders and loses focus. This is a road trip/chase movie, so there are plenty of instances of the characters running for their lives mixed with scenes of the characters lazily wandering about, taking in the sights. Except that these two concepts are in direct conflict with each other, resulting in a fairly inconsistent tone. My question is: how much does this matter in a movie about an Alien who smokes cigarettes and cracks wise?
But like I said, Paul is entertaining throughout, all the way up to the wholly predictable end scene, full of events that you saw coming a mile away. Again, as a film, there are shortcomings, but while the film takes a path well traveled, it does so well, and we end up with not only an effective comedy, but a comedy with a lot of heart.
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