A man in black shoots a radio and says-It was a boring conversation anyway. Just one of the many inside sci fi, super nerd jokes in the silly sci-fi flick Paul. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who everyone seems to think are gay, find themselves in nerd heaven-Comicon in San Diego. As a nice follow up they decide to hit all the famous UFO sites in the western USA. They visit the the Little A’Le’Inn and The Black Mailbox and Vasquez Rocks where the reenact the battle between Captain Kirk and The Gorn.
While at the Black Mailbox they see a car crash and they meet the grey alien Paul. Now instead of a road picture, we have a road picture with an alien. This is great stuff. Seth Rogen, who was brilliant as B.O.B. in Monsters Vs Aliens, puts in a pretty good performance as the wisecracking little extraterrestrial.
Paul was not exactly a huge boxoffice hit. It’s made about 15 million dollars and cost about 40 million. Paul did hit number 1 at the UK box office and that helped it make 43 Million worldwide. I guess there are still a lot of people in America that just don’t get British humor. But I liked it.
The special effects were good enough, but I did find Paul’s gigantic eyes to be a bit annoying. Most grey’s are depicted with solid black eyes like an insect, but Paul has eyes with irises and pupils and it’s just weird. Paul smokes pot and does a lot of cursing. One of the gags in the films is Paul convincing a fundamentalist Christian that Science is right and God is hooey and getting her to curse like a sailor and plan to do a lot of fornicating. She was not really good at the whole cursing thing and she has to be taught, much like the Terminator in T2 how best to mix her profanities.
A part of the film that fell flat for me was the two half wit FBI agents who help to chase down Paul. These two boobs are standard comic relief with no common sense or other purpose. But it was still a bit shocking when they were are both violently killed. I know Shaun of The Dead was filled with dead people and just about everyone in the film we cared about died, but that was a whole different feeling. There was a sense of loss and tragedy about those deaths. The two FBI agents were killed for no reason and one lame joke that was taken from Groundhog Day.
Paul was fun and silly and offensive and occasionally a bit shocking. Needless to say it pales in comparison to Shaun of The Dead, but since that film has achieved cult classic status this is not surprising. I think it had to do with the fact that there is so much sci fi out there to make fun of, but they had to really focus to make fun of one or two zombie movies. Paul ended up trying to be Airplane, with a joke in every single line, and they fell flat of that goal. In fact, it got to the point where I was listening to every line to try and figure out where it came from. I’m sure the DVD will have a good list of all the source material.