Saturday, March 19, 2011

FILM REVIEW: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, & Seth Rogen's "Paul"

I, like many dorks, love the boys of Shaun of the Dead. However, they've yet to top their claim-to-fame. Hot Fuzz was a decent effort. Their attempt to spoof buddy cop films was at least better executed than Cop Out. But it wasn't as funny as Shaun of the Dead. It's unfortunate that they've set the bar so high. Nonetheless, I think Paul is a return to form. It would seem that the more ridiculous the plot is the better they do. A cop comedy was too basic. An alien escape buoyed by British pot smoking Comic Con attendants Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost), however, is the perfect amount of lunacy.
It could've gotten stale though after the first half hour if they stuck to the E.T. schematic, but luckily the added subplots kept things interesting: there was the uber religious Ruth (Kristen Wiig) who questions her faith once she realizes God never mentioned aliens, causing her to try drugs, sex, and get creative with expletives, and then there was the determined government agents (Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, and Joe Lo Truglio), rocking the MIB gear.
Again, this could've sucked if they cast the wrong actors. But with Wiig milking her doe-eyed act and cursing up a storm, Bateman acting badass, Hader losing his marbles with his easily distracted sidekick Truglio, every minute of the film had the audience's arrested attention. And let's not forget Seth Rogen doing the voiceover for the alien. It's disturbing just how much his voice fits that little green dude's body.

The trailer may not seem to promise much, but there are car chases, shoot outs, death, and a major twist at the end. It's as much an action movie as it is a comedy. And for those people who think it's just mindless fun, you might be surprised to learn that there's a definite embedded message about the weight Americans put on religion and their close-minded rejection of the evolutionary theory. Not to mention, a lesson on compassion and equality for all outsiders, whether they're from Earth or Mexico.

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