Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and the voice of Seth Rogen
Directed by Greg Mottola
Once in a while on a new release Tuesday when you visit your local video store here in our fair city of Toronto, the feature new release of the week is sitting there waiting for you right when you walk in the door. After a modestly successful run in the theatres this spring and out on DVD & Blu-Ray today we get a film for the fan boy in all of us. Buckle up, and get ready for Paul.
Paul is quite literally, out of this world. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. When he discovers he’s actually been taken prisoner, this intergalactic wise ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town. That vehicle happens to be a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Frost), who are touring UFO sights after their visit to Comic-Con. Chased by federal agents (Jason Bateman & Bill Hader) and the fanatical father of a young woman (Kirsten Wiig) that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch an escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. As the two nerds struggle to help one little green man, that little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes…
While not quite up to the other screening writing efforts of Pegg & Frost like “Shaun Of The Dead” & “Hot Fuzz”, Paul is not without its charms. Filled to the brim with sci-fi references from films like “Star Wars”, “E.T.”, “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” and even “Zanadu”, Paul is unquestionably marketed to the sci-fi audience. In fact it’s focus is a little too specific as when I saw this in the theatre there were quite a few funny jokes and bits that just didn’t land with a broader audience. There was a lot for non sci-fi audiences as well but in general the entire vibe of the film ranged from too smart (i.e. Genre specific), to a little too dumb.
Pegg & Frost obviously have killer chemistry together and that plays out beautifully as the movie goes on and as they wrote their own parts it didn’t take much to deliver fun, comedically solid performances. The supporting cast was first rate with the likes of Kirsten Wiig, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver and many others to back up our “Dynamic Duo” there was no weak link in regards to keep the story going and they made director Greg Mottolla who has done better work with films like “Adventureland”, look very solid.
The star of the show was Seth Rogan doing the voice of Paul; Rogan had the best lines and got the best laughs while Pegg & Frost were more or less the straight men in this comedy trio. The filmmakers used the same technology used in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy to create Paul, Rogan even consulted actor Andy Serkis who played Gollum for tips on how to perform a character that is 100% CGI. In Paul, Rogan crafted a very memorable character that will have a place in sci-fi lore at the end of the day.
The Blu-Ray looks clean and crisp, the extras include a making of doc, behind the scenes featurettes, bloopers, commentary tracks and much more.
Paul is good at generating some genuine yet occasionally crude laughs, but it is far too genre specific for a wide audience to get behind. However if you are comic book and/or science fiction fan, this film will be right up your alley.
3 out of 5 stars.
Paul is available at video stores across Toronto, click here for more details.
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