Paul is the first written project from Nick Frost and Simon Pegg who both starred together in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Those projects were all written by Director Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, this film however is being Directed by an American influence with Greg Mottola of Superbad fame. It makes sense though as the film is about two British nerds touring around Nevada on search of famous American Alien sights. The idea of Simon and Nick out of Edgars caring hands was both scary and exciting, either way I was really excited to see Paul.
Story wise Paul is very simple in premise, two Sci-Fi nerds meet alien, (Paul, voiced by Seth Rogen) men in black are after alien, chase pursues with comedic value. It really is as simple as that, though I wouldn't put Paul under either Comedy or Sci-Fi, if anything I'd call it a love letter. A love letter that in the sense that Paul is paying straight out homage to allot of Science Fiction movies and TV shows of the past but mostly Spielberg. Not only implementing story elements from movies like Close Encounters Of A Third Kind, but also playing little hints towards stuff like Battlstar Gallatica, even Spielberg's Duel.
Paul isn't as simple as all the Sci-Fi jokes though, with an underlining message about Christianity Paul could cause a havoc. Kristen Wiig's (Macgruber) character is a full on Christian in the movie who discovers Paul and then questions her beliefs. Whever of not this will cause a fuss with Christan's I don't know, but the idea of a simple Alien spoiling a persons whole life beliefs is pretty hard stuff.
Graeme Willy and The Author Clive Gollings attend Comic-Con
The needed knowledge of other material draws the good and bad of Paul; the jokes can be hilarious if you get it or a 'why's everyone laughing' moment, this I noticed happened several times in the cinema. Without spoiling any major jokes let's say a certain character revealed his name and myself with half of a full cinema began laughing, the other half including my girlfriend where clueless. Paul's jokes are then hit or miss, depending on you're knowledge of the hinted material. That said allot of the jokes can be laughed at even without knowledge, some work two ways like when Nick Frost's character is sleeping and we hear him say 'No Boomer it's forbidden.' I get it and you may get it, but even if you don't get it you laugh at it.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost once again bring there real life friendship to a great on screen friendship. Within the first five minutes you already love the characters of Graeme Willy and the author Clive Gollings. This follows on for the rest of the cast, something brilliant was done in either the writing or the way the actors brought there characters to life and within meeting any character I understood everything about them. Any questionable moment in the plot I didn't argue with because I knew why that character was doing that or saying that. This was a marvel for a comedy, this was something I'd expect from a serious drama.
Seth Rogen embodies his inner Alien
Much the same goes for Paul who I was scarred of entering the movie. Not scarred of the 'Alien' part but because Seth Rogen was playing Paul and not just his voice. Seth Rogen got into the motion suit and played out Paul, so his characteristics are embodied into the character of Paul. If this worries you as well, don't worry, after a couple minutes of Paul on screen I shook of the Seth Rogen factor because he is done so well. Not just by Seth but by Pegg and Frost as well, the way they act of Paul is unbelievably believable that you won't ever question Paul again and I even forgot he was CGI. Paul is also a beautiful looking creature from another world, unfortunately I think the CGI will be snuffed, but Paul is one of the best looking CGI things I've ever seen.
With brilliant acting and smart writing Paul is a joyous film that had me smiling from start to finish. I suggest this movie to anyone but non Sci-Fi fans, as you just won't get it.