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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) reunite for the comedy adventure Paul as two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. For reasons unknown, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town—a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Collings (Frost). Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes. Paul is directed by Superbad’s Greg Mottola, from a story by Pegg & Frost. Joining the comedy’s cast are Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, Joe Lo Truglio, John Carroll Lynch, David Koechner and Sigourney Weaver.
- Extended Feature
- Theatrical Feature Commentary with Director Greg Mottola and Stars Simon Pegg and Nicki Frost
- The Evolution of Paul
- Simon Silly Faces
- Who the hell is Adam Shadowchild?
- Between The Lightning Strikes: The Making Of Paul, and more
Everything you know about aliens from pop culture is true. At least that's the message from Paul, a swift, sharp, and very funny movie from the creative minds that also brought us Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Superbad, and Adventureland. The British stars of the first two, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, also wrote the snappy screenplay, and director Greg Mottola shows that he can make human and sentimental both the slapstick and the subtle, self-referential humour the same way he did in Superbad and Adventureland. The premise Pegg and Frost have laid out for themselves as likable, sci-fi fanatic supernerds is a dream vacation starting at Comic Con, then continuing through the American Southwest in an RV visiting historic UFO sites like Area 51, the Black Mailbox, and Roswell, and finishing up at Devil's Tower in Wyoming, the iconic centerpiece from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. After their inauspicious start, they happen upon an escaped alien who is 4 feet tall, and has the big head, classic diamond eyes, and features we've come to recognize as both the benevolent and evil kinds of space aliens from movies and TV. He is also the titular character, and as voiced by Seth Rogen, this CGI creature spouts a never-ending string of wisecracks, insider secrets, and frat-boy humour that comes loud and clear as classic Rogen in tone and attitude. As an aside and terrific example of the very clever throwaway punch lines that run throughout, there's a brief flashback to 1980 showing Paul on a conference call with Steven Spielberg (really), giving him advice about script development issues for E.T.
Paul crash-landed in the late 1940s and has been held prisoner by the government's men in black. They've not only been pumping him for knowledge, they've also leaked the fabric and features of his being to people who want to believe, especially the ones in Hollywood. Now Paul wants to go home, and he's found the perfect getaway with the want-to-believe team of Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost), who take him to his rendezvous (at Devil's Tower, of course). The road movie that unfolds is consistently hilarious, moving nimbly through one-off gags and inside jokes, but also creating larger relationships and drawn-out humour that relies on us believing that the little CGI Paul is real. And mostly we do, again thanks to Rogen's delivery and distinctive vocalizing. Paul constantly quips, makes fun, gets drunk, smokes dope, and spouts a steady stream of patter about how aliens have been bowdlerized and reimagined in entertainment and the minds of people like Graeme and Clive. There's a jam-packed supporting cast that complements and complicates the story (in a good way), including Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio as the bumbling men in black, and Jason Bateman as the scary man in black. Also passing through are some fun familiar faces like Jane Lynch, David Koechner, Jeffrey Tambor, John Carroll Lynch, and an iconic sci-fi actress who shall remain unnamed. Especially good is Kristen Wiig as a fundamentalist Christian whose mind is literally blown by Paul. Amid the broad humour and nonstop punch lines there's also a sweetness that stays with each finely drawn character (including Paul) and gives Paul an amiable sentimentality that runs throughout. Everyone clearly had fun making this movie, and that's exactly how it is to watch. --Ted Fry
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Top Customer Reviews
There's a lot to like about Paul. The gags are numerous and funny, and while there's nothing particularly new or unpredictable here, it's all pulled off with such charm and energy that you can forgive the film its faults. Seth Rogen is great as the intergalactic stoner Paul, and Kristen Wiig is also good value as the Christian who discovers the joys of pot and swearing. And of course, Pegg and Frost do their usual schtick; and we love them for it.
It's nice to imagine that 50 years from now, people will probably talk fondly of the handful of good-hearted bromance/buddy films starring Pegg and Frost, and even though Paul lacks the darkness and manic intensity of the best of them (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) it's still a trip worth taking.
I was very relieved by Seth Rogen's performance when they met 'Paul', as advertising had given the impression he'd be nothing but an unfunny stream of profanity and fart gags. Instead he's played as a rounded 'character' with a believable slacker personality and feelings. He gets some VERY funny profanity-studded lines, but it's not the one-gag performance that I feared, and he ends up very likeable.
Jane Lynch pops up in a great cameo, and fans of comic books and sci-fi films will be in heaven: the film not only embraces massive event Comic-Con with scenes set there, but is such a constant stream of in-jokes and references that it requires a second viewing just to keep up. Everything from 'Close Encounters', to the jailbreak scene in 'Star Wars' gets referenced and often cleverly quoted verbatim. The film-makers also make efforts to explain the resons behind the prevalence of alien 'grey' images in a scene that involves Rogen and Frost shouting hilarious dialogue at each other.
The pursuing Agency personnel are humourous if never hilarious, and there's a hell of a cameo from a major sci-fi star that's well worth the wait.Read more ›
In order to fully appreciate the humor some basic knowledge of Star Trek, 2001, ET, Starman, X-files, Alien, and Close Encounters is required. My first laugh out loud moment came when they stopped at a gas station. As the two Brits were heading inside, Paul sticks his head out the window of the RV, bangs the side and yells, "Don't forget my Reese's Pieces!"
A must see for any Sci-Fi fan.
Foul language and sacrilegious. No nudity.
The story follows two geeks who are going to a massive sci-fi con in America, they are ordinary blokes with an unhealthy obsession with all things space like. On their pilgrimage they find a real live alien. It isn't anything they could have imagined, he isn't cute and fluffy, he isn't all seeing and knowing. He is clever and funny and really you can warm to him and his streetwise nature.
He is being hunted down, and the big boss of the super secret agency that keeps these things super secret Sigourney Weaver is absolutely superb! There are nods to so many sci-fi films in this movie and in the spirit of Hot Fuzz nodding to action and Shaun of the Dead nodding to zombies you get a true sense these guys love what they do, and it shows.
I had a lot of laughs watching this at the flicks and will be getting a copy on DVD because good films are a rarity these days.
Phone home baby!
I remember going to watch Hot Fuzz and being a bit disappointed, but by the time I came to Paul I think I'd gotten the fact that all three are supposed to be very different films. Paul is quite a gentle comedy really. There are no moments of sheer genius that make you laugh yourself stupid, but it's still pretty funny and consistently so. I thought Paul himself had some good lines, and I loved the sci-fi movie references dotted about the film. The dialogue was witty and Pegg and Frost (Pegg especially) play nerds so very well there's little doubt they share more than a little in common with their characters.
I'd recommend as well that you watch the extended version. There's not a lot more, just a couple of extra scenes, but those scenes make the storyline flow better. One bit in particular explains why Paul crashes the car at the beginning and was obviously cut out because the section starts with him swearing and the producers wanted to get the rating down for cinema.
Anyway, yeah, I liked it. As long as you don't expect Shaun of the Dead II you'll probably think it's pretty good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
LOVE this! I adore anything about aliens and I love comedies and this is the first and only alien comedy (worth watching) I've come across!Published 1 day ago by Yoana D. Dimitrova
Really enjoyed the film seeing places we had visited on our holiday.Published 16 days ago by Mr R Boyd
Railed needlessly and excessively against Christians for a solid half hour before I grew tired of it. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Dominic Lambaria
Don't normally review books or films really, as it's all a personal taste-thing but have to rate this as a favourite! Bought for someone who hadn't seen it yet! Read morePublished 25 days ago by greenfingers