starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Seth Rogen as the voice of Paul, and Sigourney Weaver
written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
directed by Greg Mottola
I rented Paul because I wanted to see more of British actor Simon Pegg who I first enjoyed in the English police comedy Hot Fuzz (also co-starring Nick Frost). I thought Paul would be an alien comedy like Evolution (staring David Duchovny and Dan Aykroyd). It wasn’t, exactly.
Two British comic book geeks - Graeme and Clive, a comic writer and his illustrator partner - travel to America for a comic book convention in San Diego. Following they rent an RV for a dream-of-a-lifetime road trip around the American west, featuring sightseeing stops at places like Area 51 and Roswell New Mexico. They are such foreign guys, raised on a diet of American movies and TV but fish out of water when they actually get there. They are like fish and chips in a hamburger world. Any road trip, either in real life or in the movies, is a chance to discover and explore some of the fantastically colorful characters that make up the human family, variously at one place after another along the road.
A fantasy come true they discover a real livealien, Paul, who has escaped from 60 years of captivity at Area 51. But Paul isn’t the sort of alien one expects from comic books and the movies. He speaks colloquial American English, wears jeans and has a dirty mind. They are being chased cross country by Secret Service Agent Lorenzo Zoil (Jason Bateman - I like Bateman and I am surprised how frequently I see him) who is working under the command of a secretive malicious-sounding voice. In the end it turns out to be Sigourney Weaver! How cool is that!?
Paul is very clever, but I didn’t like it as much as I probably should have. Or, it should have been a better movie. Bateman’s sinister Secret Agent was the best character of the story, not the three main protagonists Graeme, Cliveand Paul, which isn’t how it should be. The movie was brim full of typical offbeat British humor. Enough with the gay jokes already!