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Paul

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
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.
Written by Cath Clarke

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 18 February 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
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