Paul (2011)


It should come as no surprise to the people that know me that I listen to a lot of podcasts. Two of said podcasts I regularly listen to lead me to the movie I’m about to review. Those podcasts are Doug Benson’s ‘Doug Loves Movies’ and Chris Hardwick’s ‘The Nerdist’. In both of these podcasts, they had on one of my favorite comedic actors to discuss this movie. That actor? Simon Pegg. That movie? Paul, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (You SHOULD know them from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), with the voice of Seth Rogen (How could you NOT know him) as the voice of Paul.

This movie follows Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as two nerds and aspiring writers who go to ComicCon and then go on a road trip through the most popular alien sighting locations of America. After leaving ComicCon (which you should know happens most famously in San Diego), their next stop is perhaps the largest alien hot spot, Area 51. Shortly after leaving the Black Mailbox (look it up), they are followed by a black car that then spins out of control and crashes. They go to investigate to find that the driver of the car was a small alien who introduces himself as Paul. Shortly after, they stop at a RV park for the night and end up kidnapping super-religious Kristen Wiig. They fix her of her uber-religiousness and she becomes hilarious. They are also chased by 3 law enforcement types (or as they would best be described, Men in Black) played by Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, and Joe Lo Truglio.

The plot of the movie, I’ll say it, is a little haphazard. I didn’t even really know that they were driving Paul to be picked up by his people until like 3 quarters in to the movie. The positive thing I could say about that is I didn’t give a shit. There were many laugh out loud parts to this movie (and, as I’ve said, I don’t laugh out loud to many movies), most of which belonged to Kristen Wiig. Can I tangent here for a bit? I fucking love Kristen Wiig. I would make such a baby for her right now, whether she wanted me to or not. Probably good that I don’t come in proximity to her, I suppose. I would hate to have to get all rapey. Anyway, Kristen Wiig is by far the funniest part of any movie she’s in, the only exception in this case is that everyone else holds their own to a good degree. And there are SO many hilarious people in this movie. I’ve already mentioned Pegg, Frost, Rogen, Bateman, Hader, and Lo Truglio, but there are also small bit parts where Bobby Lee, Jeffrey Tambor, Jane Lynch, and David Koechner did some good. The only problem I found with the casting is that Bateman, as Agent Zoil, was not only a straight man (that he’s usually so good at), but a badass, which I didn’t know he could do. The problem with that is that I felt his comedic talents were kind of wasted. I guess he could kind of take it easy with the rest of the cast being what they were. It’s not like he was playing opposite Jennifer Aniston and a cup of semen.

Another lovely part of this movie is all the nerd service they did, especially the ones that were so sneaky. And for any non-nerds that are watching this movie, here they are for you to look out for and not have to miss out on because you were too busy dating people to know. 1) When Pegg, Frost and Wiig enter a bar, the band is playing a rendition of the famous music from the bar in Star Wars: A New Hope. 2) At the very end, when some old lady knocks out Sigorney Weaver (Oh yeah, she’s here too. And not to go off topic too much, but regardless of age, I’d give it to Sigorney Weaver and/or Carrie Fischer if given the chance). But when the old woman knocks out Sigorney Weavery, she says “Get away from her, you bitch!” which is a line from the movie where Sigorney got to be a badass, Aliens. I think it was Aliens, not Alien. …ummmmmm…. yeah, it sounds right. 3) A smaller one, but the name of the firework they signal Paul’s people with is the 5 tones, and they play the famous 5 tones, made famous by Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I’m only vaguely positive that’s the movie it’s from, but if I’m wrong, I’m sorry I haven’t seen it. And if I’m right, my nerdiness runs so deep, I know a lot about movies I haven’t even seen!

I only bought this movie on a whim, having not seen it in theaters, because if I bought the Big Lebowski on Blu-Ray with either Paul or Your Highness, I got a t-shirt. And I don’t trust Your Highness enough to buy it on a whim. I’ll totally watch it, but I don’t expect much. I didn’t expect that much out of Paul, but Pegg and Frost didn’t let me down. This is by far the worst of the 3 films I know they’ve worked on, but when you’re the worst amongst Shaun of the Dead (arguably my favorite zombie movie ever) and Hot Fuzz (almost INarguably my favorite cop action movie), you shouldn’t feel too bad about being behind a bit.

I won’t promise you’ll all like it, but if you tell me you don’t laugh, I’ll think there’s something wrong with your brain. …out of 5…