Movie review: Paul
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star as British geeks visiting America in the sci-fi comedy “Paul.” Starting at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the pair plan a cross-country trip in an RV, hitting the highlights of alien encounter sites such as Area 51 and Roswell, N.M.
Graeme (Pegg) is an aspiring artist working with Clive (Frost), who’s fallen off the map after his first book. The pair’s revelry at Comic-Con marks the high point of the film, as they celebrate the subculture.
Once they are on their way across the U.S., though, the film slows down. Along the way these two sci-fi fans run across the real thing: Paul, a bigheaded grayish green alien. Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) crash-landed on earth 60 years ago, but now he’s on the run from the government, which has decided to dissect him.
The film becomes a semi-interminable chase scene, as government agents (including Jason Bateman and Tulsa’s Bill Hader) attempt to catch up to the RV.
Along the way, Graeme, Clive and Paul meet Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig), a sheltered fundamentalist whose father is stifling her dreams of seeing the world.
When she sees Paul, the boys are forced to bring her along, adding her father to the growing group of those chasing the crew.
The CGI work on Paul is pretty sophisticated, but Rogen never really manages to make him a fully developed character. And Pegg and Frost, as talented as they are, feel as if they are coasting on their relationships from past films. Graeme and Clive’s story never gets fully explored, as director Greg Mottola keeps the pedal to the floor, perhaps hoping that keeping the characters moving will keep viewers from seeing the cracks.
Everybody involved with the film has done better, and most likely will again. There are spots of humor, but the film’s characters seem more suited to a short comedy sketch than a feature film.
— Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman
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