Does everyone remember Super 8? The movie that was a love letter to Spielberg? Well that’s what Paul is in its own way. Just like J.J. Abrams made a love letter to his idols, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost did the same here in their style.
The movie is quite nerdy (shouldn’t be a surprise). Pegg and Frost are two British nerds who finally make it to ComicCon for the first time and are in heaven. As part of their trip to America they go on a tour of America that no one really goes on – UFO/Close encounter sites. And a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t seen the trailer or heard anything about the movie – they find an alien (voiced and partially motion captured by Seth Rogen). Paul (the alien) is on the run and they end up helping.
One of the greatest parts of this movie is just finding all of the nerdy references to things. Some are very blatant and easy. Close Encounters probably gets the most references. Even if you don’t catch them it’s not like you’re missing whats going on. You just miss some warm fuzzy moments for yourself.
The cast is pretty much great. It helps that they’re all pretty recognizable for doing great work elsewhere (not that they suck here). Simon Pegg and Nick Frost don’t really need any explanation. They didn’t do anything new here really. Seth Rogen is great as Paul. Granted his voice is just his voice, but it really works for the character. That and there is such a thing as bad voice work and Rogen didn’t have that problem. It also looks like Rogen did a good job with the motion capture. Even better is Joe Lo Truglio (plays one of the agents in the film as well) who did part of Rogen’s motion capture work since Rogen was also working on Green Hornet. He did a good job mimicking Rogen as far as I can tell. Jason Bateman was really good as Agent Zoil. It was nice just seing him as a straight up prick. Bill Hader was great as well. He’s just amazing in anything. Kristin Wiig was really good as well. Again the SNL guys are usually always great in movies.
You also have Jeffrey Tambor who makes a nice cameo as well as Jane Lynch. Sigourney Weaver is also in the movie. Spoiler for anyone who cares – She is the Big Man. It’s not shocking seeing her finally though. Her voice is really recognizable. The best cameo had to be Steven Spielberg himself. It’s just his voice, but it’s still pretty sweet that he even did that.
There were a lot of complaints about some of the content fo the film, mainly some comments made about religion. People are going to get upset over the smallest details so it’s not surprising people took offense. Personally I didn’t see it as a problem. I even enjoyed those jokes because that’s what they were. I didn’t see those comments as a serious commentary. It doesn’t help that the group they poke fun at often get that attention. It’s also a group that tends to vocalize their dissent. I feel like most people will enjoy the comments for what they are or at least let them pass without getting worked up.
Paul really was a great film. A lot of funny moments, good action sequences, and a lot of nerdy references and sci-fi stuff all mixed into one movie.
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