If you’ve seen the trailer for Paul then you pretty much know all about it and there’s very little to say about the film. It’s very much what you’d expect. Simon Pegg & Nick Frost have written a buddy road trip movie with an alien, and just reading that probably makes you want to see it or want to stay far away from it.
The story begins with Gaeme and his friend Clive on a trip to the San Diego Comic-Con, the trip of their lifetimes. Clive thinks of himself as a science fiction writer and Gaeme an illustrator. They talk to their favourite author, find him to be rude and up himself, and they return to their room to find they’ve been given a double bed instead of 2 singles. While making sure their RV has 2 beds in their room service order arrives and they’re mistaken for a gay couple. The first of many running gags that start to wear a bit thin by the end.
They leave in their RV and begin to visit the UFO hotspots of America, they visit the Little A’Le’Inn and after meeting Jane Lynch they attract the attention of a couple of red neck types and thus the gay joke continues and another running joke is born. After stopping to visit the Black Mail Box near area 51 they begin to think the red necks are following them when they see a car behind them. They begin to panic, until the car passes and they realise it’s not them and they begin to relax. That is until the car crashes in front of them and they stop to help, only to find a little green man called Paul.
Along the way they run in to some bible bashers, incompetent agents, a sheriff who seems eager to shoot people and a biker bar. You know the usual American road movie stereotypes, but this time with an alien along for the ride.
This may sound like I’m saying it’s not a good film, but that’s not what I’m saying. I liked the film, there were a lot of laughs and I intend to see it again if I get a chance, but there are things that detract from it and mean it’s not a great film. The bible basher who become sweary and interested in sex after finding evolution is real, the gay jokes, the red necks, the incompetent agents, the “Three tits, awesome” jokes all wear a little thin by the end of the film, but over all it’s an enjoyable film. Pegg and Frost do what you expect of them, Seth Rogen as Paul is Seth Rogen as any other character but he suits the role and makes it a lot of fun. And Jason Bateman is surprisingly good in the role of Agent Zoil.
As to the effects, Paul is done brilliantly, to the point I would happily say, even with the likes of Gollum and Dobby being more than a couple of years old, couldn’t have been done a couple of years ago. His eyes, his actions and features, he is very convincing.
Would I recommend it? Well if you’ve seen the trailer and like the look of it, yes, if you’ve seen it and don’t then no. It really is what you’d expect, and if you expect you wouldn’t like the character of Paul then it’s not worth your time because he will make or break the film for you. I personally thought it was a lot of fun though.