Paul is a mixed bag. The movie does celebrate fanboy history. And, I really liked the opening Comic Con stuff. With the alien story, it is also a road movie. However, some of the action scenes and actors in the story subtract from the overall experience. There is some good and bad about this movie. And, the sci-fi references are cute, but the movie is missing a lot of laughs.
Two nerds from the UK encounter a real alien in the US. They take him in and they go cross-country to help the alien get home. It is a simple premise and it actually works for the most part. It is some of the smaller parts of the story that don’t work.
I found the two goofy agents working with Jason Bateman to be more annoying than funny. However, the “heel/face” turn with the three agents was actually interesting. Bateman is a mixed bag. Some of his scenes are rather funny, but most of the time Bateman looks and sounds bored.
One aspect that isn’t in the trailers or promotional material is the Atheist subplot. I actually thought they handled that whole issue fairly well. I also thought Kristen Wiig did a great job as the naive religious woman that finally has her beliefs put in check. She discovers a new world once her beliefs are shattered after meeting Paul. It is good stuff with this subplot.
Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are pretty good in their collective roles and they’re almost identical to their roles in their other movies. Seth Rogan is basically playing himself from those other movies he’s in. And, he does a good job as Paul’s voice.
And, the CGI effects for Paul are actually pretty good considering it could have turned into Jar-Jar Binks all over again.
However, there is something missing from the script. It just isn’t as funny as it needed to be given the talent involved. It doesn’t have the same feel as the other Pegg and Frost movies. They needed another pass at the script to “punch it up it”. However, the movie is entertaining enough, just not as good as Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.
Simon: "Please tell me you're not one of those aliens that has a weakness to water?"
Paul: "Oh, God. No. Who would come up with that stupid idea?"
Simon: "M. Knight Sha..."
Paul: "You can stop right there. It's like having vampires sparkling in the sunlight."