If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I will be the first to admit, that when I seen the trailer for this movie, I couldn't help be think I'll be skipping that one! The trailers just didn't seem that appealing. Thankfully I didn't skip this movie, because if I did, I would have been missing out on a really enjoyable experience. Nothing (thankfully) compared to it's underwhelming trailers.
It's a story about two English nerds called Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) who visit America to take part in the biggest geek adventure ever! This includes visiting some extra terrestrial landmarks on the way. But things really heat up when they meet Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), an alien life form with a bad attitude, and a deep American accent! Hey, to be fair he seems to have been on Earth for a long time!
From this point on, it is a cat and mouse chase between Paul with his nerdy buddies and the Secret Service, aiming to catch the alien to experiment on him. The story itself is simple enough, but it is the relationships between Willy, Gollings and Paul thats the real highlight of this film.
The main characters are mostly entertaining. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have a close off-screen relationship and it really transfers well into the movie, with both main characters bouncing off each other with great jokes, touching emotional scenes and a strong sense of friendship throughout. Fortunately, Paul fits right in, not only sharing jokes with his new Earthling friends, but also grabbing a beer and sharing a drink or two with them. You really do feel as though these guys are great friends and you are travelling on this road trip along with them. As the movie progresses with are introduced to a few more characters who join Paul and the gang. Ruth Buggs (Kirsten Wiigs) tags along for the ride as a religious believer, only to go wild once Paul forces her to see the evolution theory. All in all, the character of Ruth Buggs is ok, but doesn't really match the quality of Paul, Willy and Golling. At times her jokes can become a little irritating, but she does provide a little relief from this being an all out man's film.
The bad guys in this film also deserve a mention with Jason Bateman playing Agent Zoil, a hard arse agent reminiscent of someone out of Men In Black. We also see Bill Hader and Joe lo Truglio playing the part of the two lesser (stupid) agents also chasing Paul and his buddies. All three of these guys are entertaining, with Hader and Truglio running around like idiots and Bateman often being their straight man. One hilarious scenes involves the two dumb agents playing hide and seek while investigating at a road block. We also see a nice cameo of Sigourney Weaver towards the end of the film.
The story itself is simple enough. Two nerds pick up an alien and go on a road trip to get him home. sounds like E.T. right? Well, it is very similar to the original E.T story, just with added fart jokes, beer drinking and pot smoking. While the story isn't the most original around, the movie certainly provides enough entertainment to be forgiven. Paul (the character) is hilarious, often taking the piss out of Willy and Gollings for being so nerdy. He is the type of guy you want to be friends with, in fact, you wouldn't mind being friends with the three of them! I often thought to myself wow, it would be so fun being on a road trip with these guys! To be honest, I can't think of a better road trip movie since Dumb and Dumber.
Thats not to say that the film is without it's problems. There is a lot of geekiness involved in this movie, and sometimes some of the sci-fi references can go over your head. Also, there is a slight dip in the middle in regards to comedy. While it still had me smiling, it lacked some of the laugh out loud situations from the beginning and towards the end of the movie. That being said, when a laugh out loud situation happened, it had me laughing hard. One notable scene includes Paul pretending to be a mannequin in a comic store, when an agent grabs his balls (long story), Paul screams at him to get off his f'ing balls! Childish I know, but I still couldn't help but laugh.
Overall, Paul is a really enjoyable film with very likeable characters. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are brilliant as two british geeks trying to come to terms with discovering and helping an alien get “home”. Seth Rogan also provides excellent vocals for Paul making him an extremely enjoyable character, and someone you would want a beer with. The story does nothing special but does enough to keep you entertained throughout. I also found the ending enjoyable and touching (if a little predictable), with an hilarious anti-climatic joke to finish!
McEvoy's rating: Full Price!
Come see me on youtube: www.youtube.com/mcevoy2006