Written by / 11/21/2011 / No comments / , , ,

PAUL

title: PAUL
year: 2011
cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig
rating: **

Oh if only our two geeky protagonists never ran into that stupid alien, voiced so humanlike by the always contented with his own lazy rhythm Seth Rogen that, instead of seeming like a real character, he's simply… Seth Rogen voicing a computerized alien. The first twenty minutes is fantastic as a long-haired, overweight, fledgling science-fiction writer named Clive, and his laidback, balding sidekick Graeme… both native Englanders… visit Comic Con in Middle America and then venture in an RV to Area 51 to rekindle their nerdish origins. The entire purpose for the road trip is a honeymoon for geeks: renewing a marriage to science fiction, and the audience takes part. A few stops along the way, showing the non-dynamic duo at odds with rednecks, and going back and forth with each other like dudes who’ve known each other forever, are fun and natural. And then they find Paul (or vice versa), an escaped alien set up during the intro – whose spaceship landed on a dog with the same name in the 1950s. This is where the real story begins and the movie, though wielding decent action-based chase scenes and introducing three likeable yet villainous federal agents, goes to pot. Seth Rogen’s not only the wrong person for the alien’s voice, sounding like a long-lost fraternity brother… farting, drinking, smoking, swearing, and railing against the only religion Hollywood’s allowed to bag on… but his forced, bitterly cocky aura takes away from the film's charming premise. And Kristen Wiig as a redneck religious fanatic, so cartoonishly exaggerated in her faith that she’s begging to be talked out of it, adds more to the writer’s blatant contempt for something he hasn’t the patience to tolerate. Yet there are some cool nods to Lucas’s STAR WARS and the films of Steven Spielberg, the latter providing a special voice cameo. Perhaps he'd have made a better Paul!
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