Sean K. Cureton

Pegg and Frost Strike Back!

In Movie Reviews: 2011 on April 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Theatrical Poster


Paul
Directed by Greg Mottola
3 out of 4 stars

With all of the comedies that come out these days, it’s always refreshing to see one that not only makes you laugh, but makes you feel good while you’re laughing. Mottola’s new film Paul is just that kind of movie. Coming off the success of his two previous films Superbad and Adventureland, Mottola has offered up another amazing comedy that will surely be remembered as one of this year’s best. Using a screenplay written by the fantastic British duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who have written and starred in the films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Paul is a comedic homage to all of the classic Sci-fi movies of the past couple of decades. The story is based on two Sci-fi Geeks, played by Pegg and Frost, who stumble upon an alien while on a trip to America to go to Comic Con and see some infamous alien landing sites. They then have to help the alien, named Paul, get to his ship that will take him home, while evading a mysterious, secret intelligence group bent on keeping Paul on earth for shady reasons.

The comedic timing in the film is spot on. There is never a dull moment, and all of the various pop culture references are woven so intricately into the plot, that none of them feel forced or cheesy.

Beyond that, every actor who lent their time to this movie couldn’t have done a better job. Pegg and Frost are excellent as usual, and are joined in their quest by the always charmingly funny Kristen Wiig, and by the voice of Seth Rogen. Wiig and Rogen pair really well with Pegg and Frost, and Rogen proves to be particularly great, in that his voice doesn’t detract from the film at all. Instead of being too easily recognizable and off putting, Rogen provides a voice for Paul that works so well that you soon forget about his presence entirely, and can focus completely on Paul.

The main cast is supported by some of the funniest people currently working in Hollywood, including Jason Bateman as a secret intelligence agent, Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio as cops, and Jeffrey Tambor who makes two brief, but hysterical, appearances in the film as a famous science fiction writer. Even Sigourney Weaver appears throughout the film, as the head of the agency hunting down Paul.

With Paul, Mottola has further padded his reputation as one of the best directors of comedy working in Hollywood today, and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost provide another hysterical script. Paul is a great movie not only because it makes you laugh, but because its laughs come from a certain genuineness that is lacking in many other comedies, which is exactly why Mottola stands so far above many other directors who attempt to direct funny films.

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