Summary: Nick Frost and Simon Pegg star as two science-fiction freaks who, while on a quest to discover what lies at the heart of Nevada’s infamous Area 51, cross paths with an alien (voice of Seth Rogen) on the run from earthly authorities.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th April, 2011
Australian DVD Release Date: 17th August, 2011
Director: Greg Mottola
Screenwriter: Nick Frost, Simon Pegg
Cast: Nelson Ascencio (Jorge), Jason Bateman (Agent Zoil), Blythe Danner (Tara Walton), Nick Frost (Clive Gollings), Bill Hader (Haggard), Brett Michael Jones (Keith Nash), David Koecher (Gus), Paula LaBaredas (Princess Leia), Jane Lynch (Pat Stevens), John Carroll Lynch (Moses Buggs), Simon Pegg (Graeme Willy), Jesse Plemons (Jake), Phoebe Price (Princess Lea), Seth Rogen (Paul (voice)), Steven Spielberg (himself (voice)), Mia Stalland (Young Tara), Jeffrey Tambor (Adam Shadowchild), Joe Lo Truglio (O’Reilly), Sigourney Weaver (The Big Guy), Kristen Wiig (Ruth Buggs)
Runtime: 104 mins
OUR REVIEWS/RATINGS OF ‘PAUL’:
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Paul’ Review: Move over Ricky Gervais, the true Kings of Comedy want their throne back. While Paul isn’t as good as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, it once again shows that when it comes to comedy nobody really knows the game like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. While it isn’t as good as their previous efforts, it is still a million times better than a lot of the films served up in cinemas these days.
Paul tells the story of English comic book nerds Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) as they arrive in the U.S. to attend Comic Con and to also take a journey through the Extraterrestrial Heartland of America. However, their journey doesn’t go as planned when they run into Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), an alien who is desperately trying to get back to his home planet. Just to add to their concerns, they soon find themselves being chased by the authorities, led on the ground by Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) and then running into religious nut, Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig).
Greg Mottola really does earn his keep as director of Paul. While many may say that the director, who has brought movies such as Superbad and Adventureland to the world, is in his element directing a comedy, you really do need to sit back and take a look at what Nick Frost and Simon Pegg’s script called for him to do.
It called him to direct a comedy with some science fiction and action sequences thrown in for good measure that also has a dramatic storyline at the centre. That and he has to direct Paul, a CGI character that for obvious reasons was never on set to take his place in scenes. Luckily Mottola was up to the task, and what you are left with is a film that seamlessly welds nearly all of the film genres together. Frost and Pegg also need to be congratulated for the fact that they remembered that even though they were writing a comedy, the audience does in fact enjoy having some character development.
Aside from their script, Frost and Pegg also put in relatively good performances in the lead roles. As usual they are certainly on top of the comedic scenes, and to their credit, they also pull off the dramatic scenes surprisingly well. Gone are the days when a comedy actor can just rely on being funny to be great in a role.
Honorable mention must also be made of Kristen Wiig who steals many a scene with an amazingly hilarious portrayal of Ruth, while Jason Bateman also does a fine effort playing Agent Zoil. It really is a pity we don’t get to see him in more films.
If you loved Fanboys, you’ll love Paul. It is a terrific comedy that is a must see for all of the fanboys out there!
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Paul′: This review was first published in Buzz Magazine.
Sometimes when you are successful you unintentionally set yourself up for a fall. That is certainly the case for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, when you are the creative minds behind brilliant films like Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz people expect something amazing every time you put pen to paper. Paul is nowhere near as good as the previously mentioned films, but having said that it is still ten times better than most of the films around today.
Paul tells the story of English comic book nerds, Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg – The Chronicle Of Narnia – The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, Burke And Hare) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost – TV’S Money, The Boat That Rocked) as they arrive in the U.S. to attend Comic Con and to also take a journey through the ‘Extraterrestrial Heartland Of America’. However their journey doesn’t go as planned when they run into Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen – Fight For Your Right Revisited, The Green Hornet), an alien who is desperately trying to get back to his home planet. Just to add to their concerns they soon find themselves being chased by the authorities, led on the ground by Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman – The Switch, TV’S Sit Down Shut Up) and then running into religious nut, Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig – TV’S Saturday Night Live, Funny Or Die Presents…).
Greg Mottola (Adventureland, Superbad) was the right choose as a director for Paul. Using Frost and Pegg’s script as a guidance he does a wonderful job mixing outrageous comedy while not forgetting that there is also a dramatic storyline also going on. Poor Mottola certainly gets his directional skills tested as he practically has to weld all genres together (apart from drama and comedy there is also sci-fi and action to throw into the mix) seamlessly, as well as direct, Paul… a character that is never present on the set. Luckily, he is up to the task and what you are left with is a film that a pure joy to watch.
Once again Nick Frost and Simon Pegg show why they are the two best comedic actors going around at the moment. Their comedy scenes are impeccable while much to their credit they can also pull-off dramatic scenes with ease. Credit must also be paid to Jason Bateman who is excellent as the deliberately rubbery Agent Zoil and Kristen Wiig who steals the show on a number of occasions with her over-the-top portrayal of Ruth.
Paul is a terrific comedy that is a must see for comic book fans out there. It is the best fanboy comedy since… well Fanboys.