Sunday, 3 April 2011

Paul.

Paul movie poster.

From the first advertisement (the first of many, many, MANY advertisements) people got excited. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were teaming up again to make the third of the "blood and ice cream trilogy"; everyone was wrong. I told everyone that this wasn't the third of the "Cornetto trilogy" but they didn't believe me. There's one huge difference from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz: It's American. Obviously, the two main stars are British but it's directed by Greg Mottola of Superbad and Adventureland and not Edgar Wright. It's based in America, with less British humour and with nothing but American co-stars. The third of the trilogy is The World's End, if you were curious and they sat down with Edgar Wright a week after this was released to finally get it started. IMDb says it'll be done by 2014.

Plot: Two British comic-book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51.

In my opinion, the reason this film has had mixed reviews was because it was misleading and people thought it was the third of the trilogy. In the adverts, they even had clips from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz so of course there was going to be confusion. It was a bad idea by the marketers. This film was advertised so much that I actually didn't want to see it because of it. Usually, a film which advertises itself so much uses the best bits in the advert which leads to nothing but a massive disappointment.

Luckily - in this rare case - it was brilliant. Paul was the spawn of chatter between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the back garden of the Shaun of the Dead set back in 2004. Of course, they're both busy so it must have taken a while to get a full script going, get it produced, get a director and so on. Either way, it finally arrived in the cinema on Valentine's day and it's still here. That's a relatively long time for a film to be in the cinema. Probably an attempt to get back most of the money it spent on mass marketing. Even cadred had an advertisement of it (via Alienware).

Laughs were immediate as soon as you met the two main characters of the film. Their nerdy attire in a nerd haven, meeting their nerd idol who was nothing but cold, blunt and brilliant and carrying on their cross-country tour of UFO hotspots. After some driving they meet their little alien friend named Paul. I must say, I'm not the biggest fan of Seth Rogen because, in my opinion, he won't top his performance in The 40 Year Old Virgin. He enters with a pretty weak, toilet-humour joke which made me groan but that was one of the only, if not only, bad joke by him.

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen. Directed by Greg Mottola.


Now we see an agent (Jason Bateman) who's chasing Paul so they can take him back to Area 51 and harness his brain to see what they can learn since he fulfilled his usefulness. Him and his mysterious boss are desperate to catch up with him whilst recruiting two agents who have no idea what they're chasing or looking for.

As they continue, you notice that Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Frost) are more alien to America than Paul. Although, Seth Rogen literally plays himself. A swearing, weed head but from another planet. Pegg and Frost are fans of the sci-fi genre so expect loads of references to any form of sci-fi alien related film. For example, the aliens who play the same song over and over again in that bar in Star Wars can be heard in a bar whilst their escaping.

Clive Gollings: It's not fat, it's power!

Never mind harbouring a fugitive who's an extra-terrestrial, they end up kidnapping a Bible bashing, Jesus freak named Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig) who ends up awkwardly experiencing anything and everything she can since meeting Paul. He makes her an experimental, sex-addict, potty-mouth by disproving her one-world theology. What ensues is an extra hilarious character in an already humorous outing.

The second half breaks the predictability of the previous half, bursting through with a few moments which drop your jaw as you didn't expect it. It's sort of amateur Edgar Wright style but yet it works. The film is filled with quite a few American clich├ęs but there is still British humour in there to enjoy. Especially British attributes (excessive apologising is one). This is a funny film but do not expect Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. It caters more for Americans by not being very breakthrough with the humour, not daring but still highly amusing and it will have you quoting the film.

Thoroughly enjoyable and you will laugh all the way through. It's light-hearted humour but you can't help but wish for a heavier, more daring adventure.

★★★★