Rating: 3 ½ / 5 stars
By Sally Burgess, Technical Manager
Graeme and Clive are a couple of sci-fi geeks on the trip of a lifetime in America. They’re on a pilgrimage to the holiest of UFO heartlands, Area 51, when they accidentally come into contact with an actual alien. Meet Paul, voiced by Seth Rogen…a weed smoking smart-ass who has been imprisoned for 60 years and needs to find his way home. Graeme and Clive, along with a young woman they accidentally kidnap (the brilliant Kristen Wiig) have to hatch a plan to get Paul back to the mother ship. But hot on their tails are some federal agents including Agent Zoil, played by Justin Bateman…who works for the mostly unseen “Big Guy”.
This is the third collaboration of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and they make a good duo. The pair stated that “Paul” was their love letter to director Steven Spielberg and sci-fi fandom in general, and there are a lot of references to those kinds of movies including Close Encounters, ET, and Aliens among others. Spielberg actually makes a cameo in the movie if you listen carefully!
I thought this film was brilliant at times and I liked picking out the referential film nods, plus there are some big names in this too, including Jane Lynch from Glee and Gwyneths’s mum, Blythe Danner. The alien himself looks almost real and CGI in movies keeps getting better and better. But even though Paul is at times pretty funny, I didn’t find myself laughing as much like I did with last week’s release Just Go With It.
Paul is definitely worth a watch, though.
Standout Performance: Simon Pegg