Paul comes from the team that brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
Or most of the team: Writer-stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are still aboard, but director Edgar Wright has been replaced by Greg Mottola. And that substitution makes all the difference.
Not that Mottola doesn’t know his way around a joke: He proved that he did with Superbad and Adventureland. But he lacks the slightly nastier edge that Wright brought to the work. Watching Paul makes you wonder whether Wright wasn’t the one who kicked those films up the notch needed to give them their bite…read more [Huffington Post]
The ensuing action adventure contains elements of bro-mance, road trip comedy and action and sci-fi and is packed with movie in-joke references and cool supporting players.
But somehow it doesn’t quite come together as satisfyingly as the duo’s previous work.
On the plus side, Paul boasts a cool American indie director who more than compensates for the absence of Edgar Wright.
Greg Mottola, of Superbad and Adventureland fame, is no slouch in the comedy stakes and knows how to handle a starry ensemble, while proving equally adept in the special effects department.
And there’s also great support from a veritable who’s who of US comedy greats, from Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio, as bumbling Feds, to Jason Bateman, as a deadpan man in black and Kristen Wiig, as a devout Christian who finds her belief system rocked to its core…read more [indie London]
All you have to know about Paul is that the role of the alien is voiced by Seth Rogen in his jovial-stoner mode. When Paul’s spacecraft crashed back in the 1940s, the government kept him prisoner in Area 51, where he remained until he escaped into Graeme and Clive’s care after a road accident. Over the decades, with nothing to do but answer questions from men in black and watch TV, Paul became an expert in American cultural conspiracy. (Toking on some weed, he remarks, “I’m pretty sure this is the stuff that killed Dylan.” Graeme: “He isn’t dead.” Paul, with a knowing smile: “Isn’t he?”) He was also an important source for the weavers of Hollywood fantasy. He takes credit for The X Files (“Mulder was my idea!”) and for Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial…read more [Time.com]
Paul tells the story of Graeme and Clive, two sci-fi fans who travel to Comic-Con from the UK to begin their US road-trip visiting UFO landing sites. Their first time in the US, they rent a winnebago and begin their journey across country. The trip goes awry one night, after leaving a UFO-themed bar and a spot of bother with the locals, when the car ahead of them crashes and a small, green, cigarette-smoking alien called Paul steps out of the wreckage.
Paul is on the run and convinces the two English dimwits to help him. Chased by Jason Bateman’s stern Agent Zoil and his hapless minions Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio), the threesome begin their unusual get away…rea more [Film Junk]
As for the titular PAUL, as voiced by Seth Rogen, this was the one aspect of the film I really thought I’d have a hard time getting past. I like Rogen, but he’s such a distinct comic personality that I was afraid he would overwhelm Pegg and Frost, or somehow not mess well with their somewhat more genteel humour. I shouldn’t have worried, as Rogen actually does a really good job as the pot-smoking, slacker alien (I know- BIG stretch), who, it turns out, has a heart of gold. I was also afraid the CGI might come off as cheesy, but to my eyes- PAUL looked pretty damn real, so no problems in that area…read more [Joblo]
The picture gets down to business briskly with Pegg as Graeme and Frost as Clive, best mates from England on a dream trip to the United States that begins at San Diego’s Comic-Con ahead of a tour of the most famous UFO sites.
Genial and naive, they eat up Comic-Con, where Jeffrey Tambor delivers a devastating portrayal of an aging comic creator, before they set off in a RV headed for the desert. Somewhere along the Extraterrestrial Highway, they run into Paul…read more [THR]
The saying goes, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. This could be applied to the masterful cinematic combination of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. These three individuals have oodles of talent on their own; but bring the three of them together, and they hit a whole new level of brilliance. Separate the trio, and while the work is still very good, it doesn’t quite reach the top. Scott Pilgrim is one example of this; and now Paul is another. Not a great film, but a very good one.
Pegg and Frost play Graeme and Clive respectively, two British geeks who take a lifelong dream trip to Comic-Con in San Diego, followed by a road trip in an RV to famous UFO/alien sites of the southwest US. Late one night they encounter Paul ( the oddest named alien in film history), who needs them to help him get to Wyoming so he can get the hell out of Dodge. They are being followed by a government agent, two mildly inept cops, and manage to pickup an odd religious nut along the way…read more [TwichFilm]
Paul is user-friendly, like an old slipper. But it’s also just as predictable and occasionally whiffy, its near-laziness exposed by some half-assed romantic non-intrigue, a throwaway “three tits” running gag and a bit of rote message-lobbing (a live-a-little homily of, “Sometimes, you’ve just gotta roll the dice.”).
As the on-stage climax steers suspiciously close to self-congratulatory, you’re left with a film that leans lightly on our geek-loving goodwill but doesn’t work hard to earn it.
It’s Pegg and Frost treading water when they could be taking risks, pushing the envelope. “Sometimes you’ve just got to roll the dice?” Let’s see it, then…read more [TotalFilm]
Perhaps the best surprise in Paul is that, 10 years after starring together on BBC’s Spaced, Pegg and Frost have lost none of the easy energy that makes them so great as a pair. Though they’re a bit long in the tooth to play two nerds making a pilgrimage to Comic Con, they sell their characters Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) as guys thrilled both to meet their comic book idol (Jeffrey Tambor) and take a road trip across the American Southwest, a place apparently iconic even for British sci-fi geeks. What makes their trip spectacular, though, is a run-in with Paul, a little gray alien voiced by Seth Rogen who has escaped his imprisonment at Area 51 and enlists Graeme and Clive to drive him… well, he’s not telling them where just yet..read more [CimenaBlend]
“Paul” isn’t particularly peppy so much as slight and laid-back, and it only loses more steam by the third act as Blythe Danner (2010′s “Little Fockers”) enters the frame as a woman from Paul’s past and Sigourney Weaver (2010′s “You Again”) finally shows her face for a wasted climactic walk-on. The ending is intended to be simultaneously heartwarming and imprudent, but not a sturdy enough bond has been formed between Paul and his earthling friends for it to have any impact. It doesn’t help that Paul just hasn’t been terribly amusing. Why should we miss him? All the ingredients seemed to be in place for “Paul” to work better than it does, but more often than not it just kind of sits there. It’s good-natured, but not half as sidesplitting or gratifying as it thinks it is…read more [Worstpreviews]
Paul Movie Info
Running time: 104 minutes
Rated: Rated R for language including sexual references, and some drug use.
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogan, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, Jane Lynch, Jeffrey Tambor, Sigourney Weaver
Director: Greg Mottola
Genre: Adventure | Comedy | Sci-Fi
Studio: Big Talk Productions, Relativity Media, Studio Canal
Official Movie Web Site: http://www.whatispaul.com/
Opens: Friday, March 18, 2011