I like Simon Pegg & Nick Frost movies. “Shaun of the Dead” was hilarious! “Hot Fuzz” was disappointing though. Still, I enjoy seeing what sort of comedy these 2 will cook up. When I saw the trailer for “Paul”, I figured it would be worth a watch – for free. Guess what? I was dead on.
Don’t waste your money on this one. There is some humor, but it is predictable humor, which kills it for me. The entire storyline is the same way: predictable. There is not one clever or unique situation to the film. With all of the SNL cast members in this film, you would have expected more. Sadly though, the storyline is so contrived it is tiresome to watch. As the film winds towards its conclusion, the actors start using every famous line from every sci-fi flick imaginable. The icing on the cake was when Sigourney Weaver gets slugged in the face to the “Aliens” line “Get away from her, you B***!” I was mortified. That’s stating very plainly that you could not come up with a single clever line for the last 1/3 of the film.
“Paul” doesn’t have any highlights to speak of truly, but Jason Bateman plays a hard-nosed Man in Black kind of character which was refreshing to see. Kristen Wiig had such promise in this film, but she either didn’t care about the project or the lines just weren’t there for her. Regardless, it was a dud of a performance. As for Frost & Pegg, their performances were equally snooze-worthy.
I couldn’t help but think of 2 other films that tackled similar subject matter with far better results: “Race to Witch Mountain” and “Galaxy Quest”. Each of these films had more comedy to them that anything found in “Paul”. In “Race”, you get to see the Rock freak out over the aliens in his taxi, and humor ensued effortlessly. It wasn’t like they tried to make it funny; it just seemed to come about naturally. In “Galaxy Quest”, it was all tongue-in-cheek humor with sarcastic references to Star Trek and absolutely FANTASTIC one-liners. (I still crack up over Sigourney Weaver barking “Why is this here?! Seriously!”) Again, they didn’t have to try too hard, it flowed very easily. I guess good concepts lend themselves to that.
And that is my problem with “Paul”. It was a decent concept at least. It just didn’t have any legs to go anywhere. The plot is flat, the comedy doesn’t seem original at all, and the ending is very predictable (AND badly quoted as well). There is not anything to this film I could recommend, so pass on this one – even when it is FREE.
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE
- Film Review: The World’s End (themarshalltown.com)