When I first saw a preview for Paul, I was a little skeptical. It was really hard to believe Seth Rogen, normally type cast as “the stoner” could pull off the voice of an alien done in CGI. And having one of the leads being in CGI sometimes just doesn’t cut it.
And the last film from leads Nick Frost and Simon Pegg really didn’t sit for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Shaun of the Dead, but Hot Fuzz just wasn’t memorable. They successfully did horror and then tried action. Could these guys really pull of sci-fi? And right before you get to the ticket booth, you got to ask, especially when paying $11 for a movie ticket, is it worth the money? Will it work as a movie?
Well, believe it or not, it all worked! And I loved every minute! Great ensemble, solid comedic performances and a lot of heart. No, really! This film seriously could have been as sentimental and sweet as ET. Hell, throw in Mac & Me for that matter. If it wasn’t for the potty humor and alien butt shots, this could have been a PG flick. But to tell you the truth, the swearing adds to the charm, humor, the characters and just why Paul is so lovable.
The character, Paul says it how it is. Gives us the 411 on the universe and some pop culture revelations. I mean, you’d think the look they gave this alien for the film is a little obvious, considering Hollywood does everything NOT to go in this direction, but even that’s explained in the flick. And the CGI isn’t bad at all. This isn’t Jar Jar folks, where you know from start to finish this is phony. You just buy into it and roll with it. Paul seemed as real as anyone else, both physically and emotionally.
The film itself is filled with a lot of nods to sci-fi classics and alien flicks. Count ’em. Turn them into a drinking game. There’s a lot! I’m sure you can guess a handful before you watch it. Space Balls even makes a reference, but it does it in such a subtle way, it doesn’t feel forced. And hey, that could just be me.
Now, I loved the duo reprising their buddy roles. Jason Bateman always wins in my book. But the one who really stole the show here, is Kristen Wiig. She’s been popping up everywhere (MacGruber & Adventureland) and made her claim to fame with Bridemaids. But I gotta tell ya, I really adored her in this role. I don’t want to spoil a minute of this flick, but once she opens her eyes (Pun intended for those who’ve seen it) to the universe and is a less close minded Christian, she steals the show in almost every scene. To be honest, I liked her better in Paul than Bridemaids, as I felt that movie went in a different direction than I anticipated, but that’s for another review….by someone else…not me.
All in all, this is just a fun flick. A buddy flick. Heck, it even has a little romance. My girlfriend loved it. Yours will too. I’m confident this is at least worth a buck at Red Box. Shaun is still number one in my book, but this is a very close second. Let me know your thoughts.
Tags: dvd, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, movie, Movie Reviews, Movies, Nick Frost, Paul, Review, Simon Pegg