“Paul” Review

Posted: November 17, 2011 by simplytwistedproductions in Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,

I have been a fan of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright ever since I first saw “Shaun of the Dead”. My appreciation for them continued with the film “Hot Fuzz”. These two films made me go back and check out their British TV series “Spaced”. I enjoyed all of these as well as Pegg’s portrayal of Scotty in the recent “Star Trek” film. So I was really looking forward to “Paul”, the tale of two geeks that make contact with an alien on the run from the government, and made way to the theater on opening weekend.

This is the first film with Frost and Pegg that I have seen without Wright directing and his absence is felt greatly. Gone is the cutting edge humor and cultural observations presented to us in ways that make us laugh as well as making us think. Instead in “Paul” we are presented with old clichéd geek humor and references from the onset. There were many ‘in jokes’ for us geeks but these in jokes have been over done elsewhere and done much better.

One piece of humor I did enjoy that was spread throughout the film is all the lines used from other geek classic films. It almost became a game trying to identify which lines were from which movie.

Paul himself (the alien) looked great, the CGI was good, but not top of the industry. You could tell there was an animation element in his appearance that I know could have been done better. Seth Rogen did a good job voicing the character, bringing what Seth Rogan always brings to his characters. And this is where Paul looses me. Paul is a vulgar, juvenile alien that brings even more lowbrow humor to this film.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy lowbrow humor. Just because it’s lowbrow does not mean it can’t be funny and enjoyable. My big problem with this film is the blatant attack the writers of this film unleash against the Christian community. And who are the writers? Pegg and Frost themselves. Sure, the only examples of Christians in this film are the stereotypical ignorant, science hating, Christians… very much like that hate filled church we all know and revile. Christianity, and people of faith, are mocked relentlessly in this film and it got very tiresome and ultimately had nothing to add to the plot of “Paul”. It seemed the film was a platform for Pegg and Frost to show the world their hate of religion.

And the end really brought the film down and made me question if I will support their work in the future and also made me realize the true creative genius behind “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz”, and “Spaced” must be Edgar Wright more the Pegg and Frost.

In the end, I would rate this movie a rental, more like a Netflix streaming, at the most. For me, I don’t plan on sitting through this film ever again.

~Chris Saint

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