Paul directed by Greg Mottola (Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Working Title Films, R, 104 minutes)
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, and Kristen Wiig.
I Hated This Movie So Let Me Be Brief
I wanted to see this movie because I had faith in the duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Starring in the soon-to-be cult classics, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, these actors have blended comedy and social satire through an artful presentation. With the funding of a major studio, Paul ought to be even better with a larger budget. Wrong!
A Mandatory Plot Mention
Pegg and Frost play nerds on holiday in the United States. Having attended Comic Con, the duo travels the southwest encountering the classic UFO landmarks. After an unfortunate accident, the nerds encounter a pot-smoking alien named Paul. In a move that gives the movie a plot, Pegg and Frost agree to help Paul find a way back home.
With lazy writing, poor acting, and a boring plot, Paul is a miserable watch. It strikes me as odd that such brilliant comedy in previous Pegg/Frost films vanishes in this movie. In my mind, the only explanation is that Universal Studios micro-managed this plot into lowest-common-denominator humor. If you are into physical humor and an obvious joke, there might be something worth salvaging. For me sadly, I wish I had avoided Paul.