Fugitive, Celebrity, Slacker, Joker, Alien – Paul: A Review

After a three month lull with nothing but painfully uninteresting looking movies, things seem to be picking up again and our love of cinema is being revived. Just in time, too, as Veronica scored us passes to the pre-screening of PAUL last night at AMC Yonge/Dundas.

“From the guys who brought you Superbad”, PAUL is a sci-fi geek’s fantasy road trip following British nerds Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) from Comic Con through America’s UFO heartland.

Along the way they have a close encounter with a rogue alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), who escaped from a top-secret military base after discovering he has been taken prisoner and is determined to return to his homeland, enlisting Graeme and Clive to help him get safely to his mother ship. They end up pissing off a couple of rednecks, accidentally kidnapping and corrupting a straight laced Christian (Kristen Wiig) and having to outrun a slew of secret agents (Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, Sigourney Weaver).

The film has everything you’d expect from a geek buffet – inside jokes only the elite will get, clever product placement and set design, numerous subtle references to every classic sci-fi flick (Star Wars, Aliens, Predator, ET, Mac and Me, Star Trek, Back to the Future, Battlestar Galactica, Jaws, Indiana Jones etc.) and even blatant re-enactments from such movies.

Pegg and Frost are comfortable in their roles, no doubt playing exaggerated versions of themselves, which makes the film easy to watch and relate to. And Rogen’s personality translates well into alien form, but his uniquely recognizable voice sometimes makes it hard to forget the comedic Rogen and fuse him entirely with the alien character.

Wiig holds her own as she pulls her character away from a naïve sheltered Christian and explores the world of kissing and fornicating and swearing – her innocent attempts at stringing together swear words were comical and certainly added a few new amusing phrases to our vocabulary.

Paul is an enjoyable nerdy flick that is sure to amuse your inner geek. Be sure to catch it after you’ve visited Wizard World Toronto Comic Con this weekend at the Direct Energy Centre.

images from google