Paul

What if an alien from another planet had been living in the U.S. for the past 60 years, advising the government and influencing pop culture ever since?  But instead of an intellectual form of otherworldly life, he was a beer swilling, pot smoking, foul mouthed slacker.  The kind of character an actor like Seth Rogen has played in every comedy he’s ever done.  Actually the extraterrestrial is in fact voiced by none other than Seth Rogen.  The problem is I couldn’t get past seeing him any time the alien opened his mouth.  By the end of the movie I wanted to sock the creature in the face he was so obnoxious.  There are a few occasionally funny jokes that tweak conventions of classic sci-fi films.  There’s also a running gag about morally liberated Kristen Wiig awkwardly using profanity.  I’m embarrassed to admit her clumsy combination of crude words do provide some creative laughs.  But it’s a guilty pleasure and one that admittedly appeals to the lowest common denominator.   For each little comedic gem, there are 3 lines that fail and it’s a buzzkill.  The f-word, penis jokes, flatulence, and the buddies being mistaken for a gay couple are the script’s frequent concept of wit.  Surprisingly given this lowbrow humor, the lazy script even manages an air of condescension as it ridicules timeworn targets like fundamentalist Christians and provincial types.  It plays like the unenlightened British idea of a stereotypical American comedy.  Writer/star Simon Pegg has come a long way from the career defining highs of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  That’s a huge disappointment.  I must say I did acquire an even greater respect for director Edgar Wright.  He appears to have been the the intellect behind those earlier films.  His influence is sorely missed here.

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9 Responses to “Paul”

  1. I do agree with Mark’s review, however, I liked it. I laughed out loud at all those horrible jokes. Kristen Wiig was hilarious. Also loved all the sci fi references.

    • Some of the sci fi references were clever. More of that and less bathroom humor could have tipped the scales to a positive review. Oh and a different voice for the alien.

  2. Markus Robinson Says:

    Mark, I can’t believe you didn’t all together care for this movie. I loved the sci-fi references and thought the script was very smart, even with the low brow “potty” humor. Putting Rogan in it was a stroke of genius by Pegg and widened his demo immensely. Don’t get me wrong, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are better, but Paul has to be just below that (in my opinion). Great review though. Alway enjoy reading your stuff.

    • Thanks Markus. I appreciate that. Don’t get me wrong, I did laugh, but for every funny joke there were 3 more that killed the good feeling. Seth Rogen is starting to become like Mike Myers for me – a one trick pony. Funny once but now tiresome. Comedy is such a personal thing. I really wanted to like it. I tried. Kristen Wiig was funny.

  3. magnolia12883 Says:

    Kristen Wiig and the jokes made at her expense are hilarious…her TShirt had me laughing outloud before anyone else noticed it

  4. Haha, for the review. But it’s a great one, Mark! Just thought it was a little mean, haha!

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