Paul (2011) Poster


User Reviews

Add a Review
339 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
RUN to the theatres to see this one!
dapplegrey133 March 2011
We saw it tonight with about 30 friends at a pre-release screening in Atlanta.

Let me say I am a 50-yr-old female film-lover. Sci fi is not my favorite genre, but I have seen most of the sci fi classics.

I didn't know what to expect as I am not always a sci-fi comedy fan. For instance, although mildly entertaining, I wasn't wild about "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". I was wild about some of the cast members, but not really the film.

So, we arrived and the theatre was packed. They were turning people away at the door. Although I had qualms and wasn't sure I'd like it, it turns out I LOVED it! ALL of the audience members seemed to laugh themselves in to hysterics through much of the film. And the ENTIRE AUDIENCE CLAPPED WILDLY AT THE END!

WARNING: This movie is NOT for the devoutly religious or for those who are offended by swearing and sexual references. Period. If you THINK you might be offended by anti-religion humor, swearing, or sexual references, then don't go. And I would recommend it for older teens only; NOT young teens.

Amazingly, during the first 20 minutes or so, I found myself thinking 'This is delightful! If only they could keep it THIS funny for the rest of the film..... so many comedies start out with a bang and then are just "tired" by the end of the movie.....'

But I couldn't have been more wrong. It not only kept up a wonderful pace, but introduced many great characters along the way.

If you enjoyed "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz", this will be right up your alley. There were lots of sci fi movie references (Alien, ET, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, Star Wars, Aliens, Predator, etc.) It had an AWESOME cast, MARVELOUS character development, and a terrific script that went from sweet and moving, to hilarious, to scary, and back. It was really SO MUCH FUN!

It is lewd, it will certainly will be offensive to some American Christians, and it is totally sci-fi, but it's absolutely hilarious. So, you sci-fi comedy lovers, GO!! RUN to the theatre to see it on the big screen. Take friends and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
256 out of 366 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A pleasant surprise that had me laughing all the way
n-kalimin2 March 2011
I lucked out and received tickets to watch an advance screening of this movie. I had 0 expectations, the trailer didn't really show much, and generally went in with an open mind.

Bottom line: no forced laughs and I laughed a plenty. The writing was absolutely brilliant. The gags are funny, and jokes come in smart and crude and those who are science fiction fans will get a huge kick out of how many hidden nods there are everywhere. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost did a fantastic job penning this script (as well as their acting)and well executed by Greg Mottola (Superbad and Adventureland). Simply put, I had a blast and it was just that much satisfying as a film overall.

Personally, I would have given it a 10, but it may be hard to recommend to a wide audience. I would expect anyone aged from 16 to 30 would enjoy it the most given the amount of vulgarity in the movie. Basically, I wouldn't recommend it to my parents because they definitely will get turned off by it.

I was initially skeptical about Seth Rogan voicing Paul: DON'T WORRY. He does a great job and you end up loving the character. All the actors in this film were great and you will enjoy their roles.
157 out of 226 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sure it's not a comedic masterpiece, but its a lot of fun
It's been a long wait, but finally, for the first time since 2007 Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up once again as the unstoppably funny duo. Their pairing this time isn't quite at the same quality of comedy as Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead but let's face it, those two movies are comedy gold. Paul is still hilarious and it is rife with highly quotable jokes that you can laugh about for days. Plus it has plenty of great nerdy sci-fi humor that only us true geeks and catch on to. Paul follows two British tourists in America, Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) who are traveling cross-country to visit all of the most famous UFO sightings in America. While in Area 51 they pick up a hitchhiking alien named Paul who is excellently voiced by Seth Rogen. Graeme and Clive quickly learn that agreeing to protect this extraterrestrial is giving them a lot more than they bargained for as they are chased by the FBI, hillbillies, and a religious shotgun toting nut job.

If there's one thing I can commend Paul on, it's finally giving us the satisfaction of an R rated sci-fi comedy. The blend of the two genres is great and making it a vulgar, violent riot is just what fans needed with so many lame PG-13 comedies floating around these days. Pegg and Frost wrote a hilarious script for this movie, one that easily could have been ruined by a few edits to suit a PG-13 rating. But thankfully they got to keep it their way and give us something obscenely entertaining.

Paul isn't one of those profound comedies that breaks the barriers of typical comedy or goes unforgettably above and beyond, but it is really funny. The jokes are hilarious almost every time. It's not high brow comedy by any means and there are a number of fart jokes, gay jokes, poop jokes, and so on and so forth, but I can't say that they didn't make me laugh because I most certainly did. But as an added bonus the film is filled to the brim with sci-fi film references. They range from blatant, like a set of fireworks that make the Close Encounters of the Third Kind tone, to as subtle as the band in the bar playing the Mos Eisley cantina song from Star Wars. This has got to be one of the nerdiest scripts ever written, and I absolutely loved it. I'm sure there are a number of references I missed or didn't get, but that's just because every little thing is a reference to some sort of sci-fi film or theme. To quote the Brits, "It's brilliant!" There's no two ways about it, Paul is cast perfectly. Pegg and Frost are obviously excellent and you couldn't find a better duo of British nerds anywhere. Seth Rogen does a surprisingly good job voicing the alien, whose animations are also excellent and add a lot of comedy to the film. Other supporting characters are great in their roles, like Kristen Wiig playing the neurotic ex-Christian Ruth Buggs. Jason Bateman plays a straight man role as the FBI agent leading the chase after Paul and he is hilarious in his own deadpan way. Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio play two other FBI agents who make a hilarious little side pair of characters who have their own running jokes and quirks. Then there are tons of cameos from very recognizable actors such and Jeffrey Tambor, Janey Lynch, David Koechner, and even Sigourney Weaver. There's hardly an actor in this film that I don't go, "Hey! I recognize that guy" when I seem him or her.

Paul by no means transcends the comedy genre but it is no doubt funny. If you don't find at least some of the humor in this film amusing then there is something wrong with you. Sure it's cheesy at moments, OK it can be predictable at times, but as a comedy it really works and it gave me a solid hour and forty minutes of great entertainment. If you love a good R rated comedy, go see this movie, and if you're a sci-fi nerd you have to see this movie just for the fun of catching references. This is a great little comedy that is plenty of fun to watch.
59 out of 82 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ready to get probed?...
From the trailers, I had come to expect quite a lot from the movie. Actually I had thought and believed the movie to be more than it actually was when I was done watching it. Now, I am not saying that the movie is bad or dull, far from it. The movie is pretty cool and fun, though there is nothing overly new and inventive about it. And that is what sort of made the movie a bit tame.

The storyline in "Paul" is good. An alien has crashed on Earth and now many, many years later he escapes from captivity and hits the road, where he accidentally bump into Graeme Willy and Clive Gollings. With the government in chase, Paul and his newfound friends are racing to get across USA and to get Paul home.

Right, well throughout the movie there was a bunch of subtle and not so subtle references to other movies. Many of these had me laughing, because they were hilarious and quite often in your face. And it was rather surreal to have a country/hillbilly band play the cantina band music from Star Wars, but it was hilarious.

As for the cast and the acting in the movie. Well, it has long been established that Simon Pegg (playing Graeme Willy) and Nick Frost (playing Clive Gollings) have amazing on-screen chemistry and they add a lot to each other. So it was nice to have another movie with them working together. Jason Bateman (playing agent Zoil; you will love his full name when it is revealed) also did a good job. He was cool and to the point, and his character was really awesome. Bill Hader (playing Haggard) and Joe Lo Truglio (playing O'Reilly) worked well together as a goofy police unit, and added some weird comedy to the movie. It was a shame that Sigourney Weaver (playing The Big Guy) had such a small role. But despite this, she always delivers a good performance. And I just loved what was said right after she got punched in the face. That was one of my favorite movie references in "Paul". Now, Seth Rogen (the voice of Paul) is not really one of my favorite actors, but he did a good job with the voice-acting in this movie.

For a comedy, don't expect to be laughing throughout the entire movie. The movie is driven by a good story and spiced with comedy here and there. Which in itself is a good combination, and it worked well for this movie.

Not to forget the CGIs in the movie. They were excellent. The character Paul was so nicely made, and the textures of his skin, face and eyes was off the charts. And those effects really helped carry the movie.

"Paul" is a great movie, though it is not Simon Pegg's and Nick Frost's best movie, it takes a lot to top "Shaun of the Dead". But it is a good enough attempt, and the movie works well enough all together. A movie with a great story, some laughs here and there, and it will take you out of this world.
58 out of 81 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
After lampooning the cop-buddy and zombie flick genre, Pegg and Frost take their turn to meet E.T and do the same.
musanna-ahmed15 February 2011
Shaun of the Dead – great. Hot Fuzz – brilliant. Paul, The third collaboration between the two best friends Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is another action-packed comedy featuring an alien, guns, and Jason Bateman. Unlike the previous films the pair starred in, Paul still has the strong bromance between the two but takes a turn to be more of what Scott Pilgrim Vs the World was instead of Hot Fuzz.

Scott Pilgrim – directed by Edgar Wright who also directed the first two films mentioned – was a geek-friendly action comedy. Paul is more of a geek-friendly comedy. It's crude, so think Superbad (Greg Mottola had directed that too) instead of Shaun. Then add the whole 'comic' tone of Scott Pilgrim – the great action scenes but less violent and amusing ones instead, and two geeks who are into comics rather than in the comic like Scott Pilgrim was. And add E.T gone comedy with the voice of Seth Rogen. Plus add a cameo from Sigourney Weaver. Then you have Paul, a geeky, clever, and very funny film but simultaneously you then have its problem.

As you could probably figure from the description above, the problem being said is that Paul tries to pack too much in during the encounter with the alien itself. The running time is a perfect 104 minutes. But by the end of those 104 minutes, there are several suggested sub- plots and alternate directions that could have been taken to reach the destination. One sub-plot involves Paul shattering Ruth's (Kristen Wiig) faith. It's an odd film to have a religious subtext in and it will maybe have questions thrown at in terms of what message is trying to be said. Nevertheless, those 104 minutes are brimmed with pure entertainment and the plot is established enough to make sense and not take a wrong turn.

With an ensemble cast, what makes Paul especially hilarious is how every character in the film has a moment of comedy gold. That includes Adam Stevenson – famous writer whom they meet at a Comic-Con festival and simply has five on-screen minutes. Five amusing on-screen minutes. Pegg and Frost are as funny as they were before, fizzing chemistry over Area 51, still the brilliant duo that work better than Pegg and Andy Serkis did in Pegg's last film Burke and Hare. They're buddies with mutual buddy-love that are better together than most odd pairings. It's (probably) guaranteed that they will stay as the best British duo even off-screen as Thomson and Thompson in the upcoming Tintin film which is to be directed by veteran sci-fi director Steven Spielberg. It's reported that Pegg and Frost said that Paul was a love letter to Spielberg – it sure is an amusing one, and is certainly the best Valentine-themed film this Valentine's Day.

The pair wrote the screenplay for this film – so expect many contemporary references – plenty of sci-fi ones – and clever gags. At times, the jokes can feel a little self indulgent; inside jokes that would probably confuse most and only careful listeners can interpret the clever jokes. The majority of the script, however, is a laugh-a-minute ride with some recurring jokes that become funnier and funnier throughout. Paul's part of the script gives a big L to The Green Hornet; Seth Rogen was much funnier off screen. The actor was miscast as the green superhero so there were dreads of him being miscast as this green amiable alien but kudos to Pegg and Frost because this was the perfect script for Rogen to show that The Green Hornet's failed hilarity wasn't detrimental. Looking at another view, if Rogen was the screenwriter for Paul, then maybe it would have been of the dull standard of the Hornet unless he can still write something on par with Superbad. Imagine that.

Paul may be a funnier film for the more clever/geeky viewer. If that's the case, the words 'Cult Following' can be seen written all over it. For all other audience, Pegg and Frost haven't diminished in their comedy quality from their previous films even though Paul may be broader than either of them. If Scott Pilgrim was the geekiest film of last year, Paul definitely wins that title for this year. It may not be an Out of This World film (pun partially intended) but lays claim to the most hilarious film of 2011 yet.

Verdict: Your money's worth – Paul is the funniest film there has been in ages.
141 out of 214 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Well done Guys , well done
Marcin Lembicz12 February 2011
I was on the Irish premier of the movie last Thursday with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost showing up and saying few words before the movie . First of all, I would like to say great cast especially Sigourney Weaver , Jason Bateman and my two mini stars of the movie Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio as agents Haggard and O'Reilly . The movie its self is very funny and the script well written , the small alien with voice from Seth Rogen its very real and well made by CG artists . Obviously the chemistry between Frost and Pegg is great like always ( you know what I'm saying if you remember Shaun of the dead or Hot Fuzz )Rogen as alien is a perfect cast with his IM SMOKING WEED voice and great lines . In summary well made , great cast , funny script what else do you need for Friday night . For me seven stars
124 out of 195 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Simon Peg and Nick Frost team up with an alien for a rather funny film.
Aaron137524 August 2011
I enjoyed this film quite a bit, it is a rare comedy that started kind of slowly, but continued to get more funny as it went on. Usually I find a lot of comedies start kind of fast then fade out kind of fast. This one has two Brits who are in the United States for comic con, the end all comic book, science fiction, horror and a whole heck of a lot more conventions. These particular two are into aliens and there to not only take in the sights and meet a favorite author, but to drive to some of the famous alien spots out in the west. Well they quickly run into some trouble with some local rednecks and then end up witnessing a very bad wreck. They go out to explore the scene and end up meeting Paul, an alien who is apparently on the run and in the need of assistance. During the course of their adventure the two Brits must keep Paul hidden from government agents and also deal with crazy religious fathers and all sorts of other things one tends to find on the road. Probably why I liked this one as I always enjoy a good traveling comedy of which this can certainly be classified as one. I also enjoy watching Simon Pegg and Nick Frost working together as they have a good chemistry. They are a couple of the few actors who I will watch a movie specifically because they are in it. I used to have a whole slew of actors and actresses like that, but these days not so much. The comedy is funny, like I said it started a bit slowly as I think the comic con scenes could have been a bit funnier, but it really got going once they met up with Paul. Not much of a Seth Rogen fan, but he did a fine job as the voice of Paul. So all in all a funny comedy that kept me entertained throughout.
30 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Space-ious humour
Samiam324 August 2011
I like a movie that can make something familiar feel fresh. Paul is this years Short Circuit, or Starman, or Maybe even Galaxy Quest. Its merger of crude/rude and witty comedy plus a cast where everyone brings their A-game, without going too far makes Paul a good watch.

Let's start with top billing. I'll be among the few to say that I didn't love either Nick Frost or Simon Pegg in the Hot Fuzz/Shawn of the Dead duo. They wrote themselves with too much 'sour' in mind and too much self-mockery. For this script, I think they nailed it. Here they are not simply goofs, they are likable goofs, the parts have been written with a few more 'straight' moments, and honesty to balance the satire.

The two of them are on an RV road trip in the south western states from Comic-Con to Roswell. Once in New Mexico however, they get perhaps a little more than they anticipated when they meet the survivor of a car crash in the middle of the night...a little green man, one who speaks English, has been on Earth since 1947, and is asking for a lift.

Paul is delightfully beyond the reach of reason. It's actually a million light years more absurd than Shawn of the dead and Hot Fuzz, so I felt a little more explanation would've helped. It's not too hard to draw conclusions about how Paul learnt English, but why is he speaking it like a punk? He has some really great lines, but he seems way too human for an Alien. Then again, if he wasn't the movie wouldn't be quite as funny.

As the movie starts to wrap up, it does so with a lot of spectacle (perhaps maybe a bit too much). A few too many guns get pointed bullets get fired for me, but at least the laughs keep coming which is important.

Paul, creaks a little here and there, but it is appetizing as a comedy with a buddy movie spirit and a good dose of sci-fi satire.
30 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sci Fi spoof of the year
whistlerspa12 June 2011
I loved this movie. Have been a fan of Pegg and Frost since Shaun of the Dead and enjoy their genius ability to spoof a genre and still make a thoroughly entertaining and funny movie

This time it's ET, Close Encounters .. , Alien and others that are lined up and blown out of the water, along with Roswell the FBI and comic book and gaming nerds. but all done with impeccably good British taste and style.

Seth Rogan (and I'm not usually a fan of his) is superb as the voice of the Alien Paul of the title, and a cameo from Sigourney Weaver complete a superb cast who all acquit themselves well.

The story is set around two British nerds doing a UFO themed tour of the US which starts at a Comic-Con convention. As they take to the road they encounter Paul who is being pursued by 'agents'. The chase heats up and other kooky characters join in and become part of the ensuing mayhem. I'll say no more... go see.

My only complaint is the overuse of bad language expletives far too often, and although effective on a few occasions are, largely unnecessary. and detract from an otherwise excellent script.
54 out of 81 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pegg and Frost's Sci-Fi Adventure
Chrysanthepop23 June 2011
Hilarious comedic duo, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back this time in an American spoofish science-fiction adventure in Greg Mottola's 'Paul'. The sci-fi references (Alien, ET, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, Star Wars, Aliens, Predator, etc) are done excellently and had me laughing out loud. Pegg and Frost are superb as they always are when working together.

They're effectively supported by the wonderful Kristin Wiig, the no-nonsense (to an extent) Jason Bateman and Bill Hader. Cameos by Jane Lynch and David Koechner are equally amusing. There's another sort of cameo that's revealed in the end and her presence is just the right way to round up a brilliant cast. Seth Rogan is less annoying than his usual on screen personas but he still is the weakest link here. He's pretty much his usual annoying on screen self even though his character is an alien and it is only the better performances of his co-stars that actually make Rogan appear less annoying.

Compared to Pegg and Frost's previous works ('Spaced', 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz') which in my opinion are classics, 'Paul' falls a little short. Some of the jokes, especially the toilet humour delivered by Rogan, fall flat. It's also lacking in wit. The pacing is a little slow in the first half but it picks up quickly in the latter portion. Plot holes are scattered throughout the movie.

In terms of execution, 'Paul' is quite well made. The title character looks amusing. The cross country location suits the setting. Cinematography is adequate.

'Paul' may not be a classic like 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz' but it's still funny enough to be entertaining. Where there is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, one can always expect to at least laugh.
26 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Painfully unfunny and horribly unoriginal
TwentyCamels20 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The thing about Spaced, Shaun, and Hot Fuzz is that they are actually funny. They are well written, energetically performed, and knowingly well-read in the medium of pop culture. PAUL sadly, does not fall into any of those categories, and the absence of Edgar Wright is quite palpable. In a nutshell, it's an incredibly lame plot, with tired, forced performances from Pegg and Frost doing a watered down version of their double act. A substantial amount of the humour is taken up with two running 'gags', namely a comic cover featuring an alien with three tits, and people mistaking them for being gay, because they are two men travelling together in an RV. Get it?? I'll pause so you can finish laughing.

Famous lines from popular scifi films are lifted in their entirety and used to fill gaps in the script (Seriously lads, this whole geek-chic thing is really past it's use-by date now), kristen wiig appears to deploy none of her comedic talents whatsoever beyond uttering profanities, and the film dedicates itself throughout to making patronising, superior swipes at religion, portraying it in a ludicrously simplistic light. Don't get me wrong, I'm no churchgoer or bible basher myself, it just felt a little mean is all.

The titular alien does have a couple of good lines, and comedy stalwart Jason Bateman is on top form and a sheer pleasure to watch as ever, the rest of it though is an uphill struggle of weak set pieces, uninspired dialogue, nutshots, and a cringingly bad first-toke-on-a-joint scene.

Just...put the American mainstream down guys, and get on with The World's End.
114 out of 218 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Only terrible when compared with Hot Fuzz and SoTD. But still not a good film.
oneguyrambling24 September 2011
On paper this is my favourite film of the year.

On paper this slots immediately into my DVD collection – the inevitable Special Edition of course! Paul stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, stars of the iconic (to me at least) Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It was written by them too! Directed by Greg Mottola, who made the excellent Superbad and the under-rated and under-appreciated (and surprisingly mature) Adventureland.

Bill Hader has a key supporting role – the best kind of role for him – (he isn't a lead man).

It's about two t-shirt wearing nerds who find a talking alien (voiced by Seth Rogen).

The alien is named 'Paul"!!!! Instant classic right? Straight into the 'already in development' Pegg/Frost DVD trilogy with SotD and Hot Fuzz right? Right? Anybody? But Paul is made on film. In retrospect that's not such a good thing.

Pegg and Frost are Graeme and Clive respectively. Clive is a well known science-fiction author and Graeme an illustrator/cartoonist (not sure what he prefers to be labelled).

The long time friends are in the United States for the first time for Comic-Con – basically a huge nerd 'love-in' that caters to the obscure and anti-mainstream (that's not a diss by the way I'd love to go to one. But it is a nerd love-in). After the convention the two wide eyed and excited British lads have planned a self driven tour of supposed UFO locations and places of interest. It is during this tour that they witness a car accident and upon arriving at the wreckage they find the driver is none other than… Paul.

Paul looks pretty much exactly like every artist's impression of an alien over the last 50 years – but he wears shorts – this is deliberate by the way, so that the world is ready for the arrival if it ever occurs. In fact Paul has been busy since his arrival in Roswell last century as an expert UFO consultant/adviser to the media and Hollywood (you can thank him for ET).

But Paul was driving erratically for a reason, the authorities are on his trail, and he tells the astonished lads that they must help him flee not the country, but the planet.

And so Clive, Graeme and Paul head off in the rented RV across country, pausing only briefly to pick up/abduct (your call) a deeply religious – and all that entails – young woman named Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig) from a caravan park, with the authorities including Jason Bateman and Bill Hader in hot pursuit.

Should be awesome right? Well here are the 'jokes': - Everyone thinks Clive and Graeme are gay instead of good buddies.

  • The religious Ruth has her whole belief system turned upside down upon meeting Paul, and has no option (apparently) to immediately discard her upbringing for swearing and acts of fornication.

  • Paul uses drugs, is crude and willing to expose himself for cheap laughs.

  • Bateman is a determined professional, but his colleagues are idiots.

  • Ummm, Graeme and Clive speak Klingon to each other a few times? Seriously that's about it. If Paul wasn't an alien this would be Road Trip or a similar moronic teen comedy, albeit with marginally more likable and identifiable characters.

And I mean marginally.

What remains is a series of dick and gay jokes, some drug use and the humour that arises when reserved and unexpected characters swear and make constantly crude references. Actually this is the kind of film I hate, it's lazy, formulaic and just plain not funny, and even if it is slightly better because Pegg and Frost are in it and share an effortless chemistry, by comparison with Hot Fuzz and Shaun I do hate Paul.

Final Rating – 5 / 10. It isn't all-time terrible, but by comparison it is awful.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Mainstream but enjoyable sci-fi comedy
bob the moo17 August 2011
When they were promoting Paul, I had heard Pegg and Frost discussing the film and they made a comment regarding the fact that nobody was just going to give them 50 million dollars and let them do whatever they wanted to do at risk of a loss. Also in their minds I would guess was the fact that colleague Edgar Wright had been given freedom to make Scott Pilgrim which, although really good, didn't perform box office wise. As a result of this comment I was sort of prepared for this film not quite to be as British or as smart as their previous work on things like Hot Fuzz and of course Spaced; turned out I was right to be ready for this but wrong to assume it would make a bad movie.

Paul isn't a bad movie at all, it is just a pretty average and mainstream one. The laughs are solid and the action enjoyable but it does rather lack edge and bite when it has the opportunity to do so. Instead it seemed much more mainstream and easy than I expected it to be. The film really only takes shots at far right Christian extremism and they probably weren't going to be queuing up for this film in the first place. Outside of this the film goes for good general laughs so we have a rude alien who is essentially Seth Rogen and lots of action with comedy blended in – and it gets these good general laughs and produces a perfectly fine mainstream comedy. Sci-fi references are throughout the film but even these are hardly very clever or obscure (even my girlfriend got most of them); I still found them funny but again I got the feeling that the film was trying to make sure that it was as broadly appealing as possible, as opposed to the slightly more arch comedy that the two have done previously.

It does still work though because I laughed more than I expected to and even when I didn't it had a broadly amusing tone to it that entertained me and kept the mode consistent. A big part of this is that Rogen's Paul actually works well. Primarily as an effect he is great because you quickly forget he is an effect. Secondly though he works because he is likable and funny – and I say this as someone who can take or leave Seth Rogen's limited range. He is a good character and he has good presence. Pegg and Frost play it safe mostly. Pegg appears to be channelling Ricky Gervais' awkwardness but not to as much success – he is good but he has been better elsewhere. Frost plays his usual shaggy-dog character and he also does reasonably well with it even if some of his material isn't up to much. Wiig is nice in support and her unconvincing cursing is very convincing. Bateman was enjoyable as ever (he deadpans up there with the best of them), Weaver allows for several good sci-fi references and the support cast feature turns from Lynch, Tambor, Koechner and a few others doing solids.

Overall I expected little from Paul but yet it was funny and enjoyable. The laughs were solid but outside of them it kept its tone well and made for a mostly safe and enjoyable mainstream comedy. I hope that both Pegg and Frost benefit from it though – and benefit in terms of a little bit more trust and freedom because Spaced, Hot Fuzz, Shaun and so on all show they can produce classics when given the chance. Paul is not one of their classic but by all means it is a really enjoyable mainstream comedy.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pegg and Frost might have written this for an American audience but it's not what I'd call particularly funny or witty. Phone home gentlemen
Likes_Ninjas908 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Best friends Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) are a pair of science-fiction geeks, travelling across America in a mobile RV. They first visit the Comic-Con convention and then move through the Nevada Desert because they are interested in the supposed alien sightings. Along the way they witness a car crash on the side of the road. Investigating the vehicle, they meet Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), a foul mouthed and obnoxious alien. While he happens to share a lot of the same eating habits as the pair, he also has special healing powers. Paul reveals he has escaped from Area 51, after being held a prisoner. He needs the boys to help take him to an extraction point so he can return home. Along the way the group is chased by some government troops, including Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) and a father and daughter pair of Christian extremists. The girl is Ruth (Kristen Wiig) and when she ends up on the RV Graeme takes a liking to her.

With a resounding thud, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have crashed landed together in Hollywood. This is their first reteaming since Hot Fuzz, leaving behind director Edgar Wright, to work with Greg Mottola instead. He previously made Superbad. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, the disappointment with this sci-fi comedy is its distinct Americanisation and its weakened script. It's unusual considering Pegg and Frost are credited as writers and it's been developed by their regular production companies. The satire of their other two films, which cleverly took aim at specific genre films and the way they mirrored British society, is now absent. The comedy here is broader and cruder, but not necessarily funnier. It resorts to drawing American stereotypes, from hillbillies, self-serious government agents and most alarmingly, born again Christians, but with little to no purpose. There are a few laughs early on when the boys visit Comic-Con because there's no winking required. Comic-Con is what it is: geeks, some a lot older than others, dressing up in ridiculous costumes. There's also a fun cameo by Jeffrey Tambor, from Hellboy 2, as an obnoxious author.

From the point that the alien arrives though, the cracks in the setup and the screenplay come to the foray. We see that Paul has the traits of a boorish human, without any explanation and then there's really nowhere for the film to go. The blame must be shared by Mottola because the film has been cut to resemble a chase movie. And the number of times that the group find themselves escaping in the RV from various pursuers grows increasingly tiresome. If one were to watch it for the sci-fi references rather than the narrative then there's a predictable assortment of E.T. and Alien related gags. There's bound to be some that only science- fiction enthusiasts will find but the most obvious ones are not as skilfully integrated into the plot as say Hot Fuzz's take on the English murder mystery. It's more like a gallery for these sci-fi allusions than a proper film.

One of the strengths of Hot Fuzz was quality of its script, with visible changes and developments in the characters. It was also buoyed considerably by Pegg's acting chops, playing a character that was deliberately straight throughout and letting the jokes work around him. There's a lot less Pegg can do here with a surprisingly blank character, caught somewhere between an overgrown geek and a bumbling, quirky Englishman. I wanted more laughs from him because he is a genuinely funny actor. Frost again looks to be playing the typical slob but he's slightly more interesting because he's the more skeptical of the two about Paul. The gimmick of Rogen voicing an alien who smokes and swears, wears off very quickly and Kristen Wiig has such a worthless role here that it's a wonder she agreed to it. She's made to look stupid as she overplays her transformation from a Christian extremist to a foul- mouthed pot smoker. Jason Bateman, a reliable character actor, has an equally inane part and we don't care about his role. Pegg and Frost might have written this for an American audience but it's not what I'd call particularly funny or witty. Phone home gentlemen.
43 out of 80 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A great ride and shouldn't be taken too seriously
thomvic24 April 2011
When you go into a movie starring buddies Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) you know what to expect with their type of films.

And who's really complaining? I'm sure not going to. Paul is nothing very original, nor is it an unpredictable story but it's a comedy that takes you on the ride and makes you have a good time while you're there. Contrasting two British actors amongst the weirdness of desert like America (supposedly near Area 51) is a great setting.

Simon and Nick play two comic book obsessed geeks who make their way to a comic book convention in San Diego. On a road trip to visit the less touristy areas such as Area 51, Nevada etc, they encounter Paul, an alien who acts more human than most aliens who is on the run from agents and a mysterious woman who we only hear her voice. Paul is on a mission to get back to his spaceship away from 'The Big Guy' and hops on the two guys RV Van. Along the way ,they pick up religious, non swearing Ruth (Kristen Wiig) who is almost a Jennifer Anniston look alike in this movie. Their mission is to get Paul away from the bad guys back to his spaceship.

Sounds silly doesn't it? That's because it is meant to be but it all works, probably because of the performances and the contrast of two characters who are in a very foreign land outside of Great Britain, where their comfort zone is. The landscape of America in this film looks great, with some nice cinematography that adds to the feel of a chase movie at the same time.

The references to other alien films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind. E.T and in a way Alien as well just make you laugh, especially if you understand it – luckily I did. However, it does feel sometimes that it needs to add these references in to get some more laughs from the audience – and while it does, some parts of the film feel very forced in humour. For example one scene where Paul poses as a prop in a souvenir store and one of the cops checks him out wanting to see an alien penis.

Another theme it explores surprisingly is also one of religion, though is careful not to come to any strong conclusions on it. This is where Ruth's character comes in questioning her beliefs on gods, blasphemy, fornication etc. And I can see how for some people, this won't agree to everyone's liking but if you don't take it too seriously, then it shouldn't bother you too much.

Nicely handled with some clever scripting makes this an enjoyable film that doesn't take itself seriously which is where it gets its charm. Watch out for a cameo appearance from Glee Star Jane Lynch as an owner of a café, while also making reference to her sexuality in the end credits.
24 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Cute, but not very satirical
Angus T. Cat20 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
My hubby and I were looking forward to seeing "Paul". We thought Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were hysterical (especially for the great performance of Elvis the Swan). We enjoyed "Paul" but we didn't find it as funny as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's earlier films. We thought it was a gentle comedy, about right for a Sunday afternoon.

The opening sequence at Comic Con in San Diego was a winner, full of sharp observation. Once it left the Comic Con, "Paul" developed very slowly. My hubby noticed that nobody in the audience laughed during the first twenty minutes.

The special effects were very good: the CGI was impressive. It was easy to believe that Paul was another actor in the scenes. We enjoyed the references to classic sci fi films, like the band in the bar playing the song from the cantina in Star Wars. The reference to "Mac and Me" was especially funny; it's great to see a nod to obscure alien films as well as famous ones.

We loved how "Hot Fuzz" lampooned the "mystery in a small town" plot, and how "Shaun of the Dead" poked fun at the conventions of zombie flicks. The alien of "Paul", like his appearance, really wasn't all that surprising. We've seen slacker aliens who swear and smoke pot before, like Roger in "American Dad". I liked how Paul spent his time on Earth advising the American government and contributing to science fiction films and TV shows. I also liked how Paul challenged the fundamentalist characters' beliefs about the universe. But Paul really didn't do much else that was unpredictable. It would have been much funnier and much more interesting if Paul presented another world view other than American, and other than Sci Fi Nerd.

By the way, I am very tired of aliens landing on Earth speaking English. There was a commerical several years ago that had aliens landing speaking Swiss German. Why not? There have been UFO sightings all over the world: I'm skeptical that the U.S. (and Hollywood) owns aliens.
28 out of 51 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Oh Edgar where art thou.......
M W19 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Im going to make this brief because I found this whole experience too painful to relive. Paul is a movie about a foul mouthed alien who crash lands on earth for 60 years until he escapes & is picked up by two vacationing English men on their way back from Comic-con. The men in question are Nick Frost & Simon Pegg & rather get into an extensive essay of their career lets just say that Paul is one short of their usual creative process. The other piece of the puzzle missing here is Edgar Wright. For the record I love Scott Pilgrim. Anway Paul right look I get what Pegg & Frost were aiming for but it just doesn't work. Greg Mottola subs for Wright & up until this point I had nothing against his resume. I liked Adventureland & Superbad was entertaining. So I went into Paul with no objections or expectations. I just wanted to laugh & enjoy myself regardless of any reservations lurking beneath the surface sans Wright. However after 45 minutes of just being beaten over the head with crude language & oh yeah Seth Rogen as Paul smoking it up every few seconds I know what a stretch right! This shtick ran its course with Pinapple Express & recently ruined Green Hornet. Enough already. Im not against dumb humor or light hearted fare but this material is beneath Frost & Pegg. This reminds me of my youth all over again. Great comedians being reduced to disposable entertainment. Pryor,Cosby,Carlin & so on. Look I know you've got to put food on the table or maybe you want to reach a broader audience so you make a few crowd pleasers but come on. Apart from Star Trek Simon Pegg has been flying solo in one easy to swallow movie after another. OK fine not my thing but its separate enough from that world he helped create that it doesn't damage its credibility. Teaming up with Frost for a third go is a definite grab towards that geek demographic & yet what we get is something more suitable for the masses. Call me naive but this feels deceptive. Do your crap movies for whatever reason but don't bait the fans who have supported you since Spaced. Im not big on the theory that one bad movie or album sinks someones career so on that note lets move on.I hope the fourth time around overshadows the third.
34 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not quite in the same league as Shaun and Fuzz, but a hilarious movie all the same.
FezzesAreCool15 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have been following the production of this movie since 2009, and have been looking forward to it ever since. I have had complete faith in Nick and Simon to deliver a fantastic, funny script, and they delivered.

The film revolves around two British comic book nerds, Clive and Graeme, who venture out to Comic Con in a nerd mecca-style pilgrimage. They plan to tour the US and visit their favourite sci-fi related places, from the scene of the fight between the lizard and Kirk in Star Trek, to Area 51. However, chaos erupts when the couple gain a hitchhiker, an alien who has adopted the name Paul. The film then becomes a race to get Paul home, whilst being pursued by the FBI, two bumbling officers and an angry Christian redneck father. Hilarity follows.

The script is, for the most part, tight, however it does drag a bit in some parts. The gags are all very nerd-orientated, so if that's not your thing I'd give this a miss. Paul is a weed-smoking, potty mouthed alien who's content is NOT suitable for young kids, so don't let the misleading trailers fool you. If you're fans of Spaced, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead or Arrested Development, this is the movie for you. You should win a prize for spotting all of the sci-fi references in this.

So to conclude, a must-see for any sci-fi fan or nerd on the planet, Paul is a movie that will shoot your humour receptors into orbit. Live long and prosper!
28 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An Instant Orgasm
Random-Spectator29 June 2011
Holy mother of alien, what an amazing cast. I have never before been surprised by a movie so much. Didn't really know anything about the movie before I've seen it and it turned out to be pretty unique. I mean a religion-bashing comedy with a couple of geeks, an alien and explosions? Slap me with a donkey beard.

I bet you will have fun watching this; even if it's not your cup of tea, you'll still have a couple of chuckles at the very least. The plot is surprisingly good (unlike what you'd expect in a comedy), now add pro-class acting and an awesome CGI alien with super cute eyes and you got a super fun times guarantee.
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Dick Phillips21 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Paul is a dud.

Paul is just awful.

It takes swipes Christianity for no reason over and over again.

It comes across like a 12 year old raging against mom and dad taking him to church.

Yeah, we get it-there is no God.

3 jokes the whole movie.

Bisexual is the way to be according to this movie.

Drugs Drugs and more drugs. Glad to see that this movie tanked at the box office. Hopefully that will spare us from a sequel.
30 out of 59 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Could have been so much funnier
ihrtfilms29 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Graeme and Clive are best mates; they are also comic book nerds on a dream trip from England to the US and after attending a comic-con they head off on a road trip to see some famous alien sites. Their trip takes a surprising turn however when after a car accident they meet Paul, an alien. The pair help Paul who is trying to get back to his own planet after being held by the government. Along the way they pick up bible bashing Ruth who quickly becomes an alien believer and the foursome travel in an RV to the meeting point, all the while being chased by Federal Agents, Police and Ruth's dad most of whom want Paul dead.

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up again here, but take things Stateside for the first time after the British set hits such as Shaun Of The Dead. Some of the previous films from these two are brilliantly funny and it's difficult not to go into this with high anticipation and it does start well, but… As the film progressed, I realised I just wasn't really laughing. There are some nice moments in this and a few times I laughed out loud, but for the most part it felt rather lifeless and obvious jokes fell flat. All of which is a shame as not only is the premise a great one, but with a superb cast it should be fail proof, but this time Pegg and Frost don't pull it off well enough.

Graeme and Clive are a lovable duo and Paul himself is fun even if being voiced by Seth Rogen seems a wrong choice and towards the end the film works better, but it all felt a little lifeless and judging by the reactions of other audience members, either 20 odd people don't have a sense of humour or this just isn't that funny.

more of my reviews at my site
29 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
richard-bown-983-75505421 February 2011
First of all, I love big train, spaced, shaun of the dead and hot fuzz, and maybe i had too high expectations of Paul, but it is the weakest thing Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have done to date.

I'm a sci-fi and comics nerd, and to be fair the last half an hour of the film was the best with plenty of referential lines to other sci-fi movies.

Maybe the lack of edgar wright showed too much, but the story was very very weak, which would be OK if there were plenty of gags to keep the audience amused, but shot after shot of a camper van going by gets dull really quickly.

The other disappointing thing was how weak the friendship between the two main characters was. Nick & Simon have done this perfectly in Spaced, Shaun and Hot Fuzz and here it was just a watered down version of work done better elsewhere.

No clever shots, close-ups and cuts to other scenes, it does seem to be geared towards a more main stream audience, which in itself is odd considering the subject matter and in-jokes. disappointment Overall I have to say this was a disappointment. They should re-team up with edgar wright for their next movie outing.
29 out of 57 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Blatantly intolerant and crude
lilbit_ljm10 April 2011
This movie was very disappointing. A mediocre plot plummeted to terrible very quickly. According to this movie, anyone who believes in God is an idiot. It goes out of its way to portray Christians as intolerant, ignorant backwoods folk. It is one thing to support evolution and atheism. It is another thing entirely to demean and insult anyone who believes otherwise. Exalting yourself by tearing others down is juvenile and cruel.

Any possible humor was tainted by this movie's blatant intolerance of Christianity or simply any God at all.

Aside from the religion bashing, the movie was mediocre at best. The humor was uninspired. Most of the laughs were expected to come from the use of foul language.

I have heard that this is not a "true" Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movie. For their sake, I hope that is true.
31 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
not very funny
flippo4880229 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this movie might be pretty funny and witty based on the movie previews. I got about 3 laughs out of the entire movie. The alien character was like some little punk foul mouth teenager but wearing an alien outfit. The potty mouth language wasn't funny. I think they thought if it was came from an alien it would funny. It wasn't. Then a third of the way through the movie they start this anti-God/Religion/Christian theme. The movie made believers look like redneck idiots. I let that go in the first scene but it kept going on until the end of the movie when the father said "God bless you" and the alien said "Yeah, whatever. You can't change those people". But yet they gave the alien God like powers with the ability to heal things and bring back the dead. Too bad it couldn't bring back this movie from the dead. I have to rate it with language they might use in the movie, "You suck Dude!".
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Watchable entertaining fun from the Pegg & Frost team, but ultimately disappointing and very forgettable.
jamiemarks-121 February 2011
So Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up for the third time to dish up another comic fun fest (or so I thought) after the great Shaun of the Dead and the hilarious Hot Fuzz. I have always in particular liked Simon Pegg in Run Fatboy Run, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and he was the best thing doing the voice-over of the memorable animation character Buck in Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, so I am a fan of his, but I'm afraid Paul is his poorest film yet.

Don't get me wrong I did enjoy it enough to the end, there were some great gags and me laughing and chuckling enough to the end. Frost and Pegg still have that comfortable comic chemistry and they acted well. Seth Rogen as Paul was reasonable with terrific CGI and Jason Bateman gave a solid supporting performance with Sigourney Weaver who you don't actually see properly to the end of the film is terrific in her speaking scenes and when you actually see her.

Unfortunately Kristen Wiig as Ruth wasn't really that good and the script is poorly written with little wit or sharpness. Many of the gags I've seen before making it predictable and too many of them misfire as some were just too crude to be funny (though I don't mind some crudeness) the characters as a result, mainly Paul aren't really that likable as jokes about urine and penises came up (which I hate). Also the constant gags about a three breasted women and Frost and Pegg's characters being gay were repetitive and did become a bit tiresome. There are a couple of scenes of surprising sweetness, but it just wasn't enough to counterbalance the crudeness. The screenplay is essentially a mess, with huge plot holes, which I wouldn't have minded had it been funnier.

But it would be unfair to criticise this too much as it entertained me to the end and I never got too bored, but it isn't worth the cinema visit and really Pegg and Frost could and should have done much better than this, which left me quite disappointed. Saying that it's far from the worst comedy I've seen and it's worth a watch.
31 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews