Monday, June 4, 2012

Paul (Greg Mottola, 2011) Review

No! No this is NOT part of the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy. Is that clear? Different director, different cast (except for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), set in America and different writers. The only similarity (other than Pegg and Frost) is the producers which I believe was one of the main advertising points. Good for them! Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz were clearly made with a British audience in mind but, while there is a bit of British humour, Paul is made for a universal audience. No one is left out this time!

Clive Gollings (Nick Frost), a Sci-fi writer and Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg), Clive's artist, are touring America after visiting Comic-con in San Diego. They plan to visit all the alien related sites in America until they encounter a real alien, Paul (Seth Rogan). Paul is on run from FBI agents due to Paul's escape and breakout from Area 51, where he was being held for decades, giving ideas to the human race regarding alien life (movies, television, lunch boxes etc.). Top FBI Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) enlists the duo of Agents Haggard (Bill Hader) and O'Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio) in order to help track down Paul and take him back to Area 51 for experiments.

This is a Sci-fi comedy. A strange combination for a film genre, I know but that can only mean two things. It's either a parody or, like Paul, it's filled to the brim with references to different media (most noticeable other films). These references range from t-shirts to quotes to even casting Sigourney Weaver because of her role in Alien (seriously she is a genre icon for Sci-fi, don't argue). This is truly a film for nerds and geeks and really, that's not a bad thing (seeing as i'm both, I don't see a problem).

I think it's safe to say that the FBI agents deserve their own paragraph. That's because they do. Zoil, Haggard and O'Reilly are easily the funniest, most memorable and just the best characters in the film. Mainly the duo of Haggard and O'Reilly. While Zoil is the only sane man in the film (which is saying a lot), Haggard and O'Reilly are the comic relief and MAN do they ever act in that role. With one of them being played by the hilarious Bill Hader, what else were you expecting. I won't go deep as there is way to much to cover in terms of hilarity but I'll just say that every time their on screen, some funny is about to happen.

Paul, despite being a comedy, has a lot of deep...I want to say morals but I'm not sure if that covers it...such as religion (well handled by the love interest Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig) so there is something to take from this film. I would imagine the majority of what to take is the quotes and references. It's a film you can come back to and notice new things, like Back To The Future.

A hilarious take on alien films that is only for those nerdy enough to get the references.

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