Film of the Day (07/24/18): Paul

 

Written By Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
Directed By Greg Mottola

I’ve been wanting to watch another comedic sci-fi flick ever since Galaxy Quest a few weeks ago, and it dawned on me that I never saw this, despite my love for Pegg and Frost. With the array of jokes about alien genitals and anal probes, I’m sure plenty of people wrote this off as a one-note act, but it’s got a surprising amount of charm in its humor. A lot of that comes from the chemistry of Pegg and Frost as writers and leads, but the side characters (played by the likes of Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader and of course the ever-recognizable voice of Seth Rogen, among others) pull their own weight as well. As a zany, road trip movie, it can be surprisingly heartfelt at times, but it never sacrifices it’s (often crude) sense of humor for those moments. Lovingly written by film nerds for film nerds, it’s absolutely littered with references to other works (JawsStar WarsStar TrekBack to the FutureIndiana Jones, Total Recall, and a wonderfully perfect reference to Close Encounters of the Third Kind), and if you’re quick enough to pick up on them, it will enhance the experience even more. Mottola does a fine job in the director’s chair, handling a lot of comedic talent, some action sequences and the CGI aspects well, and keeps a good pace throughout. This may not be the finest work from the main two behind this movie, but it’s a damn enjoyable one.

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