Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Micro Review [film]: Paul

The Meat

PAUL is a Simon Pegg/Nick Frost comedy in the vein of SHAUN OF THE DEAD or HOT FUZZ. This time, Pegg and Frost play a pair a scifi geeks on a road trip from ComicCon to Roswell and Area 51. Things take a turn when they encounter Paul, a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking alien (voiced by Seth Rogan) on the run from the men in black. Hijinks ensue.

PAUL is, at its core, more about male friendship than aliens, but it's also full of references to classic films like STAR WARS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and ET. It has a stellar cast--including Jason Bateman, Jane Lynch, Sigourney Weaver and Kristin Wiig--and is, in the end, a fun and surprisingly sweet film. On the flip side, Paul gets pretty annoying at times, there's a ponderous and condescending science vs. religion theme that could have been a lot more interesting than it was, and there are too many jokes based on someone erroneously thinking Pegg and Frost are gay. It was only kind of funny the first time; by the fourth and fifth time, it's gotten really tiresome.

All in all, PAUL is a fun and pretty funny movie. It's also the kind of nerdy film that you could get a non-nerd to watch and actually enjoy.

The Math

Objective Quality: 6/10

Bonuses: +1 for the great cast; +1 an even better soundtrack; +1 for the loving and tasteful references to the science fiction films of the late 1970s/early 1980s

Penalties: -1 for going to the well too often with unfunny jokes; -1 for the fact that a few of the best songs are barely audible

Cult Film Coefficient: 7/10