Okay... So as you probably know, I'm a pretty big fan of sci-fi. I also like British humor, and still love Monty Python greatly.
So when the two combine...?
Well, let's get to today's movie, shall we?
Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are two British nerds who have come to America to take part in the San Diego ComiCon, and afterwards they end up driving to famous UFO hotspots. On the way, however, they pick up an alien hitchiker who goes by the name of Paul (Seth Rogen), who asks to go north. The result is a wild adventure, in which they pick up Bible nut and creationist Ruth (Kristen Wiig) and get chased by a trio of hapless government agents (Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, and Joe Lo Truglio).
And there's an awesome, awesome cameo at the very end that I won't spoil for you.
And why is it awesome? Well... I'll let the fact that there are all sorts of subtle shout-outs to a ton of sci-fi properties in this movie. And it's not just the fact that the entire plot is basically E.T. with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, either: we get references from Star Wars all the way to Battlestar Gallactica. And perhaps best of all, each reference is treated with a certain amount of respect.
But most importantly, the references are also funny and clever, and most of them work pretty well even if you're not a fan of science fiction. And it also helps that it throws a couple of little towels on various things that humans think-- including intelligent design. (That last could piss a lot of people off, actually: it's literally said that intelligent design is 'horse shit' by Paul.) The biggest problem with the humor, then, is that I don't felt that the movie really capitalized on the humor as much as it could've. Some things towards the end were played unnervingly straight, and it did create a minor tone clash with most of the rest of the movie.
But I couldn't be brought to care, because these were crazy things happening to fun characters. Pegg and Frost are both very likeable with an impeccable sense of timing, and Kristen Wiig is endearing as a newly-converted non-Jesus freak. While Paul is a little on the rude side, though, he's also very endearing. And because we like the characters, we want to follow what happens with them, tone clashes and all.
It never quite gets to be as funny as it wants to be, but Paul is still a very good time at the movies for all involved. With loving references to various sci-fi movies and characters that are likeable, it's worth a watch.
It has a few flaws, but it's still worth checking out.
This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.