Posted: February 20, 2011 by curlyshirley in Film
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In a nutshell: Coulda been a contender

Popcorn rating: 3/5

Two main things make me wary of a new film (well three, if you count Katherine Heigl). 1 The studio refusing to have any press or pre screenings, denying reviewers a chance to rate it before any bums have paid to be on seats to see it. 2. Way too much pre-release hype; nothing is ever that great. So, considering how ubiquitous Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, writers and stars of Paul have been of late, could their alien comedy live up to expectations?

The answer is no.

See, Paul is ok. It’s not great. It’s not terrible. Anyone I know who has seen it, couldn’t be bothered talking about it that much afterwards. It’s a bit like death by disinterest, which is surely harsh after previous outings by the duo (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) have proven to be just so damn quotable – “Who died and made you f*cking king of the zombies?”, for example.

Sure, Paul’s got a few chuckles and even a decent action scene. Jason Bateman is funny as the man in black (though sidekicks  Bill Haggard and Joe Lo Truglio get the best laughs), Seth Rogen as the ‘I’m so f*cking cool it hurts’  Paul is amusing, for the most part , Kristen Wiig is quirkily sweet as the love interest.  And, for the geeks, there are more movie references (in jokes) than you can shake a light sabre – or samurai sword – at.

Paul should tick all the right boxes. So why doesn’t it?

Pegg and Frost’s talents lie in quintessentially British humour, that affable, self deprecating comedy centring around ordinary people in mundane settings, facing the extraordinary. And that’s what’s missing here. Paul is an American film and it is playing (somewhat patronisingly) to an American  audience, serving up the same old, cloying sentimentality,  predictable story arc and obvious jokes (oh look at the old lady lamenting the loss of her weed – oh ha ha ha, cos she’s like an old person and like, she’s into weed, man, ha ha ha).

Paul may have the Pegg and the Frost, writer and stars of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, doing their geeky everyman thing but the one missing ingredient this time is old comrade in arms, writer and director Edgar Wright. And it shows.

Reviewer: Curlyshirley


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