Dir: Greg Mottola
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen
With the tagline ‘who’s up for a close encounter?’ and the brilliant duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, I was expecting great things of Paul.
Happily, I was not disappointed.
Paul is the story of writer Clive Gollings (Frost) and his friend, Graeme Willy (Pegg). Massive sci-fi geeks, they go to Comic-Con and then begin their road trip through America on a UFO pilgrimage. Along the way they meet somebody they really weren’t expecting: Paul, an alien. Since crash landing 60 years ago, Paul has been ‘hanging out’ on a top-secret military base advising Steven Spielberg, amongst other things.
After Paul discovers he is actually been kept prisoner, he breaks out and bumps Clive and Graeme. Can these sci-fi geeks get him home?
I really, really like seeing Pegg and Frost on screen together. To be honest, I like seeing them off screen together too. Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are great films and, especially in the case of Shaun of the Dead, it is their chemistry which makes them so enjoyable.
As with Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, Paul is firmly fixed in the comedy genre. To be more exact, it is a sci-fi comedy. However, I don’t believe that you have to be a sci-fi geek yourself to enjoy it. There are many references to other science fiction films – including a brilliant Country version of the Cantina Band from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – though it is still a very funny film even if you don’t realise they’re there.
I thought that the casting choices were spot on. Pegg and Frost shine and Seth Rogen, the voice of Paul, was brilliant. To be quite honest, I want my very own Paul – he’s a great character! He’s lovable, funny and delivers some great one-liners: at one point Clive and Graeme try to communicate in a foreign language so English-speaking Paul doesn’t understand them. Paul’s response? “Was that Klingon? You psychotic nerd!”
For me, Paul ticked all the boxes. Perhaps this is because I’m a sci-fi geek, perhaps it’s because I love the Pegg/Frost double act. Whatever it is, Paul is a highly enjoyable 104 mins.
PS. don’t worry about not-speaking Klingon, subtitles are provided!