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Paul (2011)

Film reviews: Paul (2011), directed by Greg Mottola

British nerds Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) travel through the US in a motorhome to attend the San Diego Comic-Con. On the way they decide to stop and check various alien encounter hotspots that they’ve heard of – and have an alien encounter of their own.

They’ve picked up an alien hitchhiker who calls himself Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) and is on the run from Area 51 secret Agents Zoil (Jason Bateman) and Haggard (Bill Hader).

If things weren’t complicated enough, they’re also joined by the one-eyed daughter (Kristen Wiig) of a religious fundamentalist camping ground owner (John Carroll Lynch). Oh, and they’re also chased by a couple of vengeful rednecks.

Also starring Jane Lynch as Pat Stevens, Blythe Danner as Tara Walton, and Sigourney Weaver as “The Big Guy”.

If you look at other films written by and starring Pegg/Frost Paul is most likely the one people don’t like, or like the least. Sure, it’s a silly sci-fi comedy, but it was better than I expected considering all the badmouthing it’s had.

Being a sci-fi “enthusiast” who has a past of being very obsessed with The X-Files (high in aliens), the idea of road-tripping around the US to see Roswell and the likes sounds perfectly agreeable – including going to Comic-Con. Sounds like a brilliant holiday, you ask me!

Paul as a character is perhaps mostly reminiscent of the alien in American Dad!, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It does mean that the humour isn’t the highest-brow in the world, but whatever floats your boat. If you like a goofy comedy about two comic book/sci-fi geeks being chased across the country because they’re harbouring an alien fugitive, this is an entertaining film. If you don’t like that sort of thing, or perhaps aren’t a sci-fi aficionado, then move along, nothing to see here.

3.5 out of 5 swords.


An easily distracted Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on.

2 thoughts on “Paul (2011)

  1. I’m not a sci-fi afficianado but I did enjoy this film. There were some good laughs along the way. But you’re right – I would say compared to the other Frost/Pegg works, I liked this one the least. There’s a mixture of Brit and U.S. comedy – I know no one wants to keep pushing that stereotype but it just seemed that much more obvious when it was both included in the one film. Overall, though it was pretty enjoyable.

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