Paul (2011)

Director: Greg Mottola

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman and Seth Rogen.

Genre: Comedy/Sci-Fi

Australian Release Date: April 14th, 2011

Australian DVD Release Date: August 17th, 2011

Australian Rating: MA15+


Score: 4/5


Two British best friends go on a sci-fi geek UFO themed vacation in America, only to have all their plans sidetracked after witnessing a crash on the highway. The only being involved in this crash is Paul, an extra-terrestrial who needs their help to get to the rendezvous point to meet his mother ship.

This movie was hilarious. The character Paul is played by (voice and CGI movement) Seth Rogen, thus he is crude, honest and a bit of an intellectual slob. Partnered with the dry wit of the British writers and lead actors (Pegg & Frost), it hits all the right buttons, whether surprisingly or not. One of my favourite aspects of the film was the trans-Atlantic humour that was done amazingly cohesively. The relationships would not have been anywhere near as good if the two main characters were American.

The films starts by introducing the two leads as somewhat loser friends, one writer, one artist, yet paints them in such an adorable light you can’t help but love them. Enter Paul. Outspoken. Rude. Knowledgeable and powerful, yet still vulnerable and in need of help. After always speaking of how they would love to meet an alien, it would be hypocritical if they didn’t help him. Always speaking of adventure, they hesitated when it was standing right in front of them. Paul helps them to grow and shows them a world and life they never expected.

The conflict is that Paul is being chased by “The Big Guy”, and in true comedic fashion, at one point in the film they are being chased by four different groups, all for a different reason, who overlap, get in the way of and aid one another in catching their quarry. Who is who and what their purpose is appears to change as the movie progresses, but you’ll have to see it yourself to see who succeeds and who… doesn’t. But more importantly, how.

The CGI for Paul himself was nicely done as well. Especially those big “puppy dog” eyes. And what is a movie made in America without some wonderful explosions? All throughout this film there are references to sci-fi pop culture over the last 60years. From E.T. to Alien to Men In Black, the source varies but each adds a little something familiar as you follow the story. I did not personally get every single one, but you can see where they are none the less (this is why it pays to watch it with someone else, so you can ask them “ooh, what’s that in reference to?”).

The whole film was a joy to watch, even the squeamish points. I whole heartedly recommend it for a light watch, a pick me up, a bit of sci-fi fun.


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