Junky Alien Comedy


16 March 2011| No Comments on Paul     by Sean Chavel


We don’t need this. Paul is a foul-mouthed alien comedy in which right away you can tell its’ Seth Rogen’s voice doing high, scatter-brained line delivery. Road travelers Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost) are the geeks who convoy the skinny green extra-terrestrial to a deliberate rendezvous point decades after he was left behind. The alien was once locked in secured care by government authorities but the movie never says what he was doing the rest of the time. Bill Hader, doing a bland caricature of a badge-flashing FBI agent, is unfunny for the first time in his career. Jason Bateman is a bored agent in service for a higher ranking covert agency. His boss is photographed from behind and her legs for most of the movie but – no surprise – we know it’s Sigourney Weaver, so why hide it? Kristen Wiig is the only bright spot as a Tourettes babe who is liberated by Graeme, Clive and Paul and joins them on the road. Predominantly, this wants to resurrect itself as a cheesy 1980’s cuddly alien movie with crudeness substituting for competent filmmaking.

Copiously littered are plenty of go nowhere scenes that just sit there, with a bland wisecrack or profanity wisecrack sandwiched in. We are supposed to laugh at Graeme and Clive for being sloppy guys and at Paul for being the arbiter of chilling out. Much a point is made by everyone about being anti-religious. By knocking religion, these social outcasts can live the guilt-free high life. Embarrassment does not cease though, because of the running jokes that are made about Graeme and Clive’s seemingly homosexual appearance. Graeme looks less gay when he goes smitten for Ruth (Wiig) but the two of them together are too shy to lock lips. Paul has gone decades, in implication, without a love interest but he loves boobs and butts. What’s special about him though is that he has three special powers including an invisibility cloak when he holds his breath. One scene proves that it is difficult to hold your breath if you have been smoking pot.

Visually, it’s all grubby and lazy. Most of the highway scenes with the gang journeying by RV contain no other cars on the road. Nothing is brought up about how none of these guys ever look like they have taken a shower recently. Everything has a smelly look if that’s possible, except Wiig has a fresh babe in the woods appearance. The Tourettes outbursts in which Wiig uses to break out of her long-lasting oppressed shell are made with an unlikely pairing of dirty words and fudged innocent words. But she is a felicitous charm in a charmless movie. Not unless the company of geeks has never gotten wearisome to you.

Perhaps you have seen a few people in real life who wear the same shabby T-shirt for seven days in a row and are unmindful of their facial warts and full body stench. They’re too busy to live a life, too inept to date, too forgetful to change clothes because they are hooked into their video games and their WWF shows. This movie is made for them. It’s OK to crave gross humor on occasion but it doesn’t have to stink.

104 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “The Last Starfighter” (1984); “Explorers” (1985); “Mac and Me” (1988); “Spaced Invaders” (1990).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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