Paul (2011) – reviewed by George

Edgar Wright is missing – the script is by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and the director was Greg Mottola. It was filmed in the US with an American supporting cast, and is the tale of an alien, Paul, about 3 feet high and newly escaped from Area 51.
But primarily it is the tale of two Brits who come to America to attend Comic-Con, and then rent an RV so they can travel the UFO Highway: Area 51, then the Black Mailbox in Nevada, then down to Camp Verde, then to Apache Junction, and finally on down to Roswell, New Mexico for the site of the famous crash of 1947.
At Comic-Con they have a ball, and get to meet their favorite author, Adam Shadowchaser (Jeffrey Tambor), who turns out to be a bit of a dick. After reading all his books, practically worshipping the guy, and writing science fiction because of his influence, they have a right to expect a little friendliness, or at the very least he could be polite. But nooooo!
Anyway Clive Gollings (Nick) has written an unfinished novel (Adam expresses no surprise that it’s unfinished), and Graeme Willy (Simon) has illustrated it. True, we only get to see the cover, which features a gorgeous alien woman, who actually looks very human except that she is green and has three breasts. This is a point that every male in the movie makes when he sees it.
Despite Shadowchaser, whom they still admire and refer to (the major catchphrase in the picture is every single person’s response when the guys mention meeting him: “Who the hell is Adam Shadowchaser?”), they have had a really great time at Comic-Con and happily go to pick up the RV. On the UFO Highway they stop at a UFO bar and soda fountain run by Pat Stevens (Jane Lynch) and buy an “Alien On Board” bumper sticker, and drink UFO-themed fountain drinks. While there they have a run-in with two low IQ types named Gus (David Koechner) and Jake (Jesse Plemons). These guys instantly hate our heroes and so Graeme and Clive think it prudent to leave – rapidly. On the road they think the jerks are following them and trying to wreck them, but the other car ends up crashing, and they feel a normal responsibility to try to help, so scared to death they approach the car. What they find in the car is Paul, a gray CGI wise-ass alien (to be fair puppets were used too), voiced by Seth Rogen, who is making his escape from Area 51. They take him to the RV and split, but first Clive removes the bumper sticker.
Now we meet Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) who is chasing Paul, and is in constant telephone contact with The Big Guy (Sigourney Weaver) who wants Paul back a lot faster than ASAP. And the targeted threesome find an RV Park to stay at, run by Moses Buggs (John Carroll Lynch) and his daughter Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig) who is blind in one eye, a birth defect presumably since there is no pupil in that eye at all. Paul contradicts every teaching Ruth has ever received and she spends the next short time in a brainstorm of denial, until Paul heals her eye.
In the meantime two other agents that Zoil has told to go home, continue after Paul for the glory it will bring. They are Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio). And they are idiots.
Chased by Zoil, the other 2 guys, and Ruth’s rabid father, Paul and gang seek refuge and find it with Tara Walton (Blythe Danner), who has a connection with Paul that goes back to the night he landed on earth.
As we reach a final confrontation, with lots of characters kicking the bucket, the mother ship arrives and takes out the last bad guy standing (accidentally).
Okay, I’ve said way too much,but the film is so much fun that you really just want to tell everyone you see all about it. In person people can run screaming with their hands over their ears, but all you can do is stop reading, and I’m betting that you did not.
See this film!

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