Two average sci-fi geeks get caught up in the ultimate interplanetary adventure after picking up an extraterrestrial during a road trip to Area 51 and becoming the targets of a nationwide manhunt. Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are two British sci-fi geeks on holiday in America. After a trip to Comic-Con to meet their favorite author, Adam Shadowchild (Jeffrey Tambor), Graeme and Clive load up their RV and hit the road for a tour of some of the most famous UFO hotspots in the American Southwest. They know we're not alone in the universe, but they won't be satisfied until they get a firsthand glimpse of the famed Area 51. However, somewhere deep in the Nevada desert, the two UFO enthusiasts narrowly avoid crashing into a speeding car when they happen across a most unlikely hitchhiker. Paul (voice of Seth Rogan) is a pint-sized alien who has spent the last 60 years in Area 51. He's been cooped up in the care of the U.S. Government for far too long, and he's starting to get a little homesick. Though Graeme and Clive are more than willing to help their wisecracking new friend get back to his mother ship, Special Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) of the FBI is closing in fast. And he's not the only one; in their race to get their new friend home, Graeme and Clive have also become unwitting kidnappers, and the enraged father of their not-so-unwilling captive, Ruth (Kristen Wiig), is determined to rescue his daughter at all costs. Sigourney Weaver, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, and David Koechner co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Greg Mottola
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig
Release Date: Mar 18, 2011
Rated R for Language, including sexual references, and some drug use
Runtime: 1 hr. 44 min.
Genres: Comedy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Paul is kind of a difficult film to review, mainly because of Pegg & Frost previous cinematic gems. Their first outing without Edgar Wright in the director’s chair is still lots of fun filled with scifi allusions and nods and winks but it feels like it’s missing something. It’s strangely broad and unfocused, Pegg & Frost are allowed to fade into the background way too often. Director Greg Mottola seems unsure of how do deal with the script and actors so he just plays it safe for the most part. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are always fun to watch on screen and this is no different. Seth Rogen does solid work as the voice of titular alien but in all honesty he’s pretty much playing a character we’ve seen him play countless times and it’s kind of hard not to think of Roger from American Dad! as you watch Paul’s antics. Jason Bateman mastered the art of playing the straight man and it’s a bit of a shame he’s not allowed to stretch his comedic legs a tad more. SNL players, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader have a bit more to do and they’re both good fun in their roles. Paul isn’t quite up to Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz standards but it’s still a fun and capable comedy.