Saturday, November 19, 2016

Paul (2011)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Alien movies are nothing new.  You have E.T., Starman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and all sorts of other titles.  I had wanted to see this one in theaters, but not having much money kept me waiting until it came out on DVD.  Part of the appeal was that it had Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Graeme Willy and Clive Gollings.  They're friends that have come from Great Britain to the United States to attend Comic-Con.  Afterwards, they decide to take an RV to various paranormal/alien sites such as The Black Mailbox.

Their journey is cut short by Paul, an alien on the run from a secret government facility.  (Paul is voiced by Seth Rogen, in case you can’t quite place it.)  Paul has been giving the United States Government all sorts of information, contributing to everything from technology to movies.  Since Paul has given up every bit of useful information, the only thing left to do is harvest stem cells for biological research.

Shortly into their journey, they meet Ruth, a very religious woman that can’t accept the existence of aliens, even after meeting Paul.  Paul, Graeme and Clive are forced to take Ruth with them as they continue to run.  Because of this, they not only have federal agents, but Ruth’s fundamentalist father, Moses, after them.  Eventually, Paul, Graeme, Clive and Ruth make it to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, a reference to the aforementioned Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  This is where Paul intends to meet his rescue ship.  I don’t want to give away the ending, as it’s probably best not to know.

If this isn’t your first alien movie, you should catch a few references like Devil’s Tower.  There are all sorts of in jokes and mentions.  I even missed one or two.  Because of this, the movie isn’t necessarily all that original.  I’m not say that this is wrong.  It’s probably one of the few cases where they can get away with it.  Even if you don’t get the references, you can still usually laugh at the jokes. Some of the humor is crude, high-school stuff.  Anal probes are mentioned a few times and Paul does like to use drugs.  There are maybe one or two scenes that wouldn’t be appropriate for small children, but nothing that would scar anyone for life.

This is the third movie I’ve seen staring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  You may remember them from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  If you liked those movies, you’ll probably like this one, although I’d say that this one is the most different of the three.  I’m not saying that it’s better or worse.  It just has a slightly different feel, probably owing to the sci-fi theme.

I’d definitely recommend seeing it, even if you’re not a big sci-fi fan.  Like Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the dead, much of the movie works because it’s not being shoved down your throat.  It just works.  There were maybe one or two jokes that were seemed a little random.  (I spent the whole movie wondering what kind of last name Zoil was.)  Either way, it’s definitely worth watching. 

IMDb page

No comments :