April 8, 2011

Geek Weekly: Movie review – Paul

Spoilers ahead!

So you may have noticed that I'm a fan of the Pegg-Frost-Wright oeuvre. It might have come up before, is all I'm saying. So naturally I'll be reviewing Paul with all the objectivity of a seasoned, professional writer.


Well, you know you're going to love it when it starts by following Simon Pegg and Nick Frost around ComiCon. I mean, dude. What makes this movie so great (much like “Spaced”) is that it's so clear that they're well and truly fanboys, just like the audience. It's brilliant. I even love their ridiculously kitschy rented camper, complete with shag carpeting and little lampshades on the interior lights.

I was really nervous about Seth Rogan as the title character... but he managed to add an endearing charm to the movie that I really wasn't expecting. Probably in part because he's a CGI alien who manages to be far more adorable than he has any right to be when tossing f-bombs around. Paul edges up to the line of schmaltz, but manages to avoid crossing it just in time to keep the audience.

Then there's Jason Bateman, who is completely amazing as always. And yes, his twist at the end totally surprised me, whether because I was distracted by the triple-play awesome of Pegg, Frost, and Rogan or I'm just not too bright sometimes. Or maybe because Bateman pulls off the cold asshole so well that you never for a moment think he could actually be a good guy.

Sigourney Weaver as a badass in a ballgown. 'Nuff said.

I was a bit worried that Paul wouldn't be a proper Pegg-Frost-Wright flick, since it's actually a Pegg-Frost flick directed by Greg Mottola (of Superbad and Adventureland fame... two movies I have to admit I haven't seen). And it does have a distinctly different feel that could probably be summed up by describing it as an Americanized bit of Pegg-Frost-Wright-ery. However, I wouldn't say that's a bad thing... although there were moments I missed the Britishness of the Wright element, I thought it was fun to see the uniquely Britsh sensibilities brought to the movie in the writing (penned by Pegg and Frost, naturally) placed against the quintessential American West backdrop, surrounded by American actors and helmed by an American director. The two cultures, rather than clashing, melded beautifully... and the movie's humor did not suffer a bit for it.

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