Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are two friends who are traveling the American west visiting UFO hot spots. Their holiday takes an unexpected turn when they run into Paul (Seth Rogan (voice)), an alien on the run from Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman).
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have been a part of some pretty unique films to say the least, just look at the The Cornetto Trilogy. This time, they take the reins as the writers of Paul. The pair really let their nerd-flag fly as there is a clear love for nerddom and science-fiction put into it. However, that is only a small part of what makes this an enjoyable film.
Pegg and Frost nail the nerd-type with ease, probably because they could be considered nerds themselves and bring that energy into their characters. If I remember correctly, in an interview I saw for this film’s release, Pegg said this was a love-letter to the comic-con faring, cosplay wearing, movie marathoning group of people (I might have paraphrased that last little bit but you get the point) and it shows. There are plenty of quotes from science-fiction favorites like Back to the Future, Star Wars, Aliens and more that are sure to please genre fans. The movie pokes fun at the nerd stereotype but at the same time, there is a reverence for them, much like Galaxy Quest. It’s a good balance that is difficult to find in movies.
The cast consists of several comedy veterans. Besides the aforementioned Pegg and Frost, Jason Bateman plays Agen Zoil, the primary agent chasing Paul. He plays it very straight-faced, not visibly reacting to how the people around him are acting. It’s a very typical Bateman role but one he does so well. Joe Lo Truglio, one of my personal favorites from the television series Brookly Nine-Nine, and Bill Hader play a set of almost-dim-witted agents who are assigned to help Agent Zoil. Together they have some pretty good moments, although they might not be the most memorable of the film.
I’ve repeatedly said that my sense of humor leans heavily towards the raunchy, tongue-in-cheek style comedy and this film delivers on that. When you see Seth Rogan and Kristen Wiig on the cast list, you can expect nothing less. It’s definitely not for everyone but there are plenty of probing jokes and f-bombs sprinkled throughout. Wiig’s character, Ruth, especially curses a lot since she is “pretty new” to cursing, only starting after meeting Paul. I don’t know why but I find her cursing inexperience absolutely hilarious.
I’ve talked about the cast a lot but that’s really what makes this movie work. The movie never takes itself too seriously and caters to its audience perfectly. Everyone in the cast knows what type of movie they are making and lean into their parts easily. When the cast is having fun, it shows and in turn makes the film more enjoyable for the audience.
I thought Paul was GOOD 🙂 It’s clearly aimed a specific audience but there is plenty for others who don’t fit the mold as well. The cast is really what drives this film. The humor might not be for everyone but you are going to find that in all comedies. If you’re looking for a fun and raunchy comedy, then Paul is the film for you.
Paul: Hey, there, sleepy face!
Ruth: Fuckeroo. That was the best titty-farting sleep I have ever had.
Cast & Crew
Greg Motolla – Director
Simon Pegg – Writer
Nick Frost – Writer
David Arnold – Composer
Simon Pegg – Graeme Willy
Nick Frost – Clive Gollings
Seth Rogan – Paul (voice)
Kristen Wiig – Ruth Buggs
Jason Bateman – Agent Zoil
Bill Hader – Haggard
Joe Lo Truglio – O’Reilly
John Carroll Lynch – Moses Buggs
Jane Lynch – Pat Stevens
Jefferey Tambor – Adam Shadowchild
David Koechner – Gus
Jesse Plemons – Jake
Sigourney Weaver – The Big Guy
Blythe Danner – Tara Walton
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