Viewport width =
April 11, 2011 | by  | in Film |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Paul

Greg Mottola has earned a lot of brownie points in my book for directing both Johnny Crawford at Age 17: The Movie (Superbad) and Johnny Crawford at Age 20: The Movie (Adventureland), so I’d happily overlook a misstep in his career, no matter how atrocious. His most recent film, Paul, is far from being that misstep, but it is a film so vanilla, so beige, so infuriatingly middle-of-the-road that part of me almost wishes he’d directed a pure flop.

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play a couple of British nerds who plan to go on a pilgrimage around American UFO sites following a trip to Comic-Con. On the way, they run into the titular CGI Alien (throatily-voiced by Seth Rogen), freshly escaped from Area 51 and needing a ride to a rendezvous point so he can return to his people before being caught by Federal Agents.

A comedy in theory, there is not a single big laugh to be found in this film; that said, most jokes are at least worthy of a giggle, if middlebrow and inoffensive. This unremarkable competence extends to all areas of production. With reliable leads, supported by the similarly serviceable Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman and Sigourney Weaver, there isn’t a bad performance but, similarly, there fails to be a memorable one. Paul’s uninspired character design comes straight out of a Dreamworks film, the film pays loving but obvious homage to the mainstream sci-fi canon and the characters are barely two-dimensional. For example, when Paul uses his psychic powers to prove evolution to Wiig’s evangelical Christian, she becomes a born-again atheist, going from a one-note bible-basher to a one-note attempted badass who like to “curse and fornicate” without so much as a comedic crisis of faith.

Perhaps the one area in which this film transcends mind-numbing mediocrity is its action scenes; its fleeting fights and car chases are reasonably well directed and provide some much valued excitement in a film that is essentially the cinematic equivalent of Diet Coke.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. Cuttin’ it with with Miss June
  2. SWAT
  3. Ravished by the Living Embodiment of All Our University Woes
  4. New Zealand’s First Rainbow Crossing is Here (and Queer)
  5. Chloe Has a Yarn About Mental Health
  6. “Stick with Vic” Makes “Insulting” and “Upsetting” Comments
  7. Presidential Address
  8. Final Review
  9. Tears Fall, and Sea Levels Rise
  10. It’s Fall in my Heart
Website-Cover-Photo7

Editor's Pick

This Ain’t a Scene it’s a Goddamned Arm Wrestle

: Interior – Industrial Soviet Beerhall – Night It was late November and cold as hell when I stumbled into the Zhiguli Beer Hall. I was in Moscow, about to take the trans-Mongolian rail line to Beijing, and after finding someone in my hostel who could speak English, had decided