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Paul

Paul

By Patrick Samuel • February 16th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 4/5
PAUL (CINEMA)
Universal

Release date: February 14th 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 104 minutes

Director: Greg Mottola

Written by: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Blythe Danner with Sigourney Weaver and Seth Rogen as the voice of Paul

Without naming names, I think we all know who the culprits are for the sci-fi genre taking a few knocks recently so it’s great to see one that comes along and doesn’t take it itself too seriously; deciding instead to play it for laughs while reminding us what it was we loved about sci-fi films.

If, like me, you grew up watching films like E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Aliens (1986) or have been well schooled in cases of The X-Files (1993 – 2002) then I’m sure you will enjoy Paul for what is; good old fashioned fun and nostalgia.

Paul

It’s the story of two best friends from the UK, Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Frost) who go travelling across America in a rented van to Comic Con in San Diego. They decide to take in a few other sights before heading back home and of course, being two huge nerds, they stop by Area 51 and while marvelling at the thought of a UFO sighting, fate decides to intervene. They end up with an alien, Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), in their van. After spending 60 years on the secret military base, he’s now escaped after learning what they’re planning to do to him.

While Clive is reluctant to help Paul reach his mother ship, Graeme hits it off with the little grey alien immediately, and it’s not long before tensions start to rise between the trio. Hot on their heels are some men in black who are determined to return Paul to the military base, including “The Big Guy” (Sigourney Weaver), a tough, no-nonsense, ball-busting boss who eventually gets her comeuppance when she’s socked in the face and told the mother of all one-liners in sci-fi film history.

Added to the mix is Ruth (Kristen Wiig), a deeply religious young woman who gets a chance to escape her trailer park life and he domineering father when Paul gives her the secrets of the universe in a nutshell.

Paul

Politically incorrect in all the right places and totally packed with references to everything from the sci-fi genre in the past 60 years, Paul had me literally laughing in the aisles and all the way home. Despite a script which is flawed in places, it still manages to pull together a good story which takes a heavy handed approach to discarding religion in favour of science.

Seth Rogen voices Paul with just the right amount of sarcasm and smart-ass remarks to make him likeable while Pegg and Frost are very much believable as two nerds who would go on a sci-fi cross country trip across America! Glee’s Jane Lynch turns up as a waitress in a very funny scene and Wiig is an absolute delight as Bible-bashing Ruth who gets converted to a foul-mouthed alien enthusiast, but it’s really Sigourney Weaver who steals the show. Despite barely being seen until the final act, her presence is very much felt throughout, along with her voice, and without wanting to spoil it, the film is absolutely worth seeing if only for her grand entrance.

In essence, Paul, with it foul-mouthed, yet light-hearted look back on the best sci-fi films of past decades, really brings back the fun in a genre that was starting to take itself too seriously in recent years.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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