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Is genre-spoofing from the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost comedy dream team wearing thin? Not just yet, but if it was a cardigan – and let’s face it, this is cosy comedy – the elbows would be going. The pair follow up their smash send-ups ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ (which starred both and Pegg co-wrote) with an affectionate ribbing of sci-fi and get-the-alien-to-the-mothership movies. There are plenty of giggly gags but also a hint of diminishing returns.

This is a US-UK comedy alliance, with Seth Rogen as the voice of Paul, a CGI alien on the run from the FBI (the CGI and live-action combo works fine) who comes across like a Pixar character who smokes weed and tells jokes about genitals. Director Greg Mottola (‘Superbad’) replaces Edgar Wright, with co-writers Pegg and Frost acting out their usual male-hetero-romance dynamic as nerds who get more than they bargain for when they run into Paul on a tour of UFO hotspots.

The whole thing capers along, rolling in chase movie pastiches: by the end the trio has a Bible thumper, two rednecks and the FBI on their tail. There are plenty of jokes for Brits and liberal Americans, but transported to America some of the idiosyncratic fondness of the earlier films is lost. A couple of gags are weak, too: the pair are continually mistaken for a gay couple, snore. But there is enough sly humour and cracking one-liners (yes, some about anal probes) to make Paul a shrewdly timed alt-Valentine’s Day movie.

By: Cath Clarke


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday February 18 2011
Duration: 104 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Greg Mottola
Screenwriter: Nick Frost, Simon Pegg
Cast: Jeffrey Tambor
Kristen Wiig
Bill Hader
Simon Pegg
Sigourney Weaver
Nick Frost
Jason Bateman
Jane Lynch

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Very funny to Simon and Nick's collection. Wasn't expecting it to be as funny and I would recommend it to fans of Shaun and Fuzz!

Enjoyable comedy/action/road movie, a refreshingly light antidote to the more grave stuff I`ve found myself viewing this year.

Was so relieved that this wasn't like Edgar Wright's over gimmicky and unfunny Scott Pilgrim Vs The World.... Although PAUL isn't quite as good as SHAUN & HOT FUZZ. It's still a lot better than I hoped for. Funny jokes, Jo Lo Triglio (who he?) was hilarious as the extra stupid FBI junior... The alien worked well. I can't stand Seth Rogen as a rule but he was best I've "heard" him so far. Not bad and best comedy of 2011 yet (but it's only feb)... Need another FOUR LION S or IN THE LOOP... but this will tide me over. As light comedy / popcorn it's a good fit.

More like Run Fatboy Run than Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead. Reasonably funny but too Americanised to make the most of Pegg and Frost. Still, there aren't that many reasonable comedies around so if you fancy a quick flick and you, quite rightly, think farts are funny then give it a shot. Happily there'll be better comedies than this this year.

I was dissapointed that the film dragged on a little too much. I think the comedy definatley makes up for that! This film is packed with humour and action. I would recomend this film for those who are just looking for a laugh and have a good sence of humour.

A minor delight. Amusing (though I didn't laugh once) warm and lean (no "toilet break" time here!) It fits the "beer and pizza night out" bill to perfection. 7/10

If you liked Hot Fuzz or Shaun of The Dead (or even Spaced) then you'll probably like Paul. It's definitely a step down from the previous two films - but it still has some funny moments. I can't help thinking that it is not as witty as the previous two films because it has far more of an American influence. Basically this is an American comedy with two UK actors - whereas Hot Fuzz and Shaun were British comedy films (i.e. wittier!). Random addition - the SFX used for Paul are really good.

Worrying comments from "Sanjit bijalli" & "Harry Housemans" - there were no vegetables or vegetable jokes - you've got the wrong film review guys. Paul's okay, but Pegg & Frost have lost their sparkle in this one. Funny in places but not a scratch on their previous movies.

I loved all the vegatable related jokes in this amazing comedy!! Or is a cucumber a fruit? PS i also had an urge to cook turpins!! but any tips on what i should cook them in? olive oil? or sunflower like the film showed?

I thought this film was brilliant, after seeing it i had a huge urge to cook turpins!! When the cucumbers fell on his head i found it hilarious!!

Hot Fuzz was hilarious from start to finish – definitely a 4 star movie - the seasoned UK cast was superbly. So I was really looking forward to Paul. I’m not saying I’m disappointed by Paul, but something’s not right about it – though there are chuckles throughout, there are no belly laughs, and none of the very clever humour of HF. . The cast in Paul is predominantly American – I didn’t recognise many of the faces, and a browse of IMDB made me think they were chosen to help Pegg and Frost break in to the US market. Who can blame them – it has a population 5 times that of the UK? But something gets lost in translation – the humour just doesn’t work as well. And you don’t need to be a genius to guess the storyline. Maybe they’ve got the recipe just right and it’ll take the US market by storm. I’d be surprised if Paul stays at the top of UK box office charts/takings for more than a few weeks. . Time Out’s review of Paul is accurate, if a little generous with the stars. If Hot Fuzz was 4 stars, then Paul is only 2 stars. Shame.

I went and seen it tonight, and i thought it was absolutely hilarious, a proper family comedy, so worth going to see! but of course its everyone to their own, some people would love it, others not so kean. but you'd really have to be mad not to love this film!

I went and seen it tonight, and i thought it was absolutely hilarious, a proper family comedy, so worth going to see! but of course its everyone to their own, some people would love it, others not so kean. but you'd really have to be mad not to love this film!