'Paul' is mildy entertaining, though excessively annoying
April 7, 2011
“Paul” begins with the audience meeting Graeme Willy and Clive Gollings (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), two Englishmen on a vacation to America to attend the Comic-Con festival. After these two comic book nerds leave the event they go sight-seeing around the U.S. to various UFO known locations, like Area 51. One night a car passes their RV and suddenly crashes in front of them. Once they get out to help, they learn it wasn’t a human who crashed the car, but rather an alien. The alien’s name is Paul (voiced by Seth Rogan), he can speak English and quickly we learn he can tell some very dirty jokes along with being able to go camouflage and mess with people’s minds.
The pairing is then on a mission to get Paul to a specific location in order for him to be transported back into space. It turns out to not be that easy, soon they are being chased by the police, an undercover operative, two hillbillies, a head of an alien evacuation team, and a disgruntled father. The father is Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig) who joins up with the boys and Paul, he is a Christian boy turned non-Christian by Paul and now has a bad mouth and dirty tendencies. Once Wiig’s character is introduced I was immediately turned off to “Paul” from this point on.
The movie starts just as I was expecting little funny conversations between Pegg and Frost who’s comic timing is extraordinary (such as in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). Then once they meet Paul you get even more gags, some of which work and some that don’t. The one thing I feel the duo have going for them in their other respective movies is they don’t need to be dirty to be funny. Director Greg Mottola (“Superbad”) apparently thinks that even with a movie such as this we need over board dirty comedy to make us laugh even though the dry English humor was great in the first thirty minutes.
Also there is a great supporting cast in this film but they are all used so poorly, the cast that includes Jason Bateman, Sigourney Weaver, Jane Lynch, David Koechner, and Bill Hader. All of their characters are annoying and truly add nothing to the film but more people chasing Paul all at one time. It was getting really hard to watch Jason Bateman ham it up on the big screen.
One thing that may be overlooked but that needs to be mentioned is that the actual character of Paul looks great. The movements and way he fits into is surroundings are spectacular. With that said I will explain my rating for this movie. I will give one star for Simon Pegg, one for Nick Frost, a half of one for Paul (both for animation and Rogan’s voice acting), and negative two and a half for everything else this movie irritated me with.
Dustyn Dubuque is a history major and geography minor that has a love and passion for film. He watches over 100 films each year and loves Academy Awards season.