Puns in “Paul” prove funny
In 2004, viewers were introduced to “Shaun of the Dead,” a quirky but hilarious British film about an average schmuck who gets caught up in a zombie apocalypse that became a cult hit almost instantly. Since then, writing duo Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have become icons in their own right.
So when they announced they would take on another genre with their new movie “Paul,” fans were reasonably enticed. Their faith in the duo should not be lost by this film.
Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Frost) are two aspiring writers and comic book geeks on a pilgrimage from their home in England across UFO hotspots in the United States. However, their journey is soon interrupted by a loud-mouthed extraterrestrial, Paul (voice of Seth Rogen), who is running from the government. At Paul’s insistence, they then set out on a journey across the United States to return Paul to his home planet while keeping ahead of his would-be pursuer Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman).
Pegg and Frost’s writing style resounds here in the best way possible. Although the jokes are predictable, they are still hilarious. Each joke feels handcrafted to parody the science-fiction style to perfection. Even characters feel almost like a parody of themselves, a writing choice that works wonderfully.
While Frost and Pegg deserve credit for their writing, “Superbad” director Greg Mottola deserves credit for his style choices. Each scene shines to the fullest effect; audiences could really get into the world put before them — a very important element.
Not only that, but the acting of every person involved is superb. In a movie where Pegg and Frost tried to combine many actors from many backgrounds, it can be hard to make them blend well. But this ensemble did it in spades. Special attention should be paid to Pegg and Frost for their roles as the comic pair, and Rogen, who embodied the voice of Paul flawlessly.
The greatest achievement here is the action. The over-the-top car chases and explosions really fit the tone of the film.
The only problem, however, is that this film won’t speak to everyone. It takes a very stern tone in its style, and not everyone will find the kind of humor comical.
Overall, this movie is fantastic. The comedy is funny, witty and intelligent. It’s good to see a good comedy in a sea of bad ones this year. “Paul” flies its way into a 4.5 out of 5.