There’s always the nerd or the inner-geek inside us all. Whether it is getting up at 5am to watch the morning cartoons when you were 6 years old, to debating over Star Wars is better than Star Trek, to watching science fiction TV series that last 2 seasons before facing the axe, only to get a new life on DVD.
Comedians and best buddies Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are the new ‘meta’ in comedy and Sci-Fi. Together, they bring us Paul.
We meet English larikins Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Collings (Frost), two struggling sci-fi enthusiasts who are trying to get their work published. For years, they have saved up to travel to San Diego Comic Con – the world’s biggest comic and pop culture expo, based in the US. Their dreams are made when they meet their favourite sci-fi author, and also decide to travel to the hot spots of the USA in an RV so they can check out the Alien related areas and landmarks. Geeking it out.
Their travels are interrupted when they witness a car accident, and upon investigating, make friends with Paul (voiced by stoner Seth Rogen) who is a laid back, beer drinking, chain smoking, no-holds-barred attitude alien who has escaped from the Government as he discovers he’s on the “chop up” list. With Paul on their ride, Willy and Collings also find out there is the secret service on their backs (Jason Bateman) trying to track them down. I won’t mention Bateman’s character name as it spoils the fun. Throughout the film, Willy, Collings and Paul are on the run, trying to outdo the law, and bumping into trouble on the way, such as upsetting some rough rednecks, picking up a religious woman who has never sworn in her life (Kristen Wiig), and ruffling other feathers.
Originally meant to be part of the “Blood & Ice-Cream Trilogy“, Paul pays homage to many sci-fi tv shows and films, either by quote or appearances (the ‘secret boss’ is a giveaway). You don’t have to be a sci-fi pat to enjoy the film either. The film does have a slow start, but laughs pick up midway through. A great no-brainer with some genuine belly laughs. Rogen is with his laid back smooth style and foul mouthed name calling pads out the weak scenes a little. Pegg and Frost gel so well together that if you don’t find any of the film funny, their friendship and charm will be comforting… since they know their sci-fi very well (Pegg starred in the re-make of Star Trek)