I was nervous about this movie because of the lackluster commercials and poor reviews, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
It’s not a great movie, and it’s certainly not the funniest movie ever created, but it gets the job done. It’s entertaining. That’s all that really matters for a movie like Paul. There was never a point in the third act where I was thinking to myself “When is this shit going to end…?”
Its tone is that of a lighthearted road trip / buddy movie. Except, where it succeeds in the fact that it’s a road trip movie that doesn’t have to stop at every wacky location and meet zany characters. Paul relies on the comic value of its main characters. Sure, there are cameos sprinkled in from time to time (like Jane Lynch and David Koechner), but they aren’t typical freaks supplied for one-time outrageous laughs (like for example, every character you would meet in a Harold and Kumar movie). In Paul, good times are had by Pegg, Frost, Wiig, and the alien just by hanging out in the RV and at campsites. There was no need for Paul to stop off in a sex dungeon with a dominatrix played by Andy Dick just for a laugh.
One big surprise was how well done Paul’s (the character) existence was in the film. I thought he blended in real well; from a special effects standpoint, and also from a voice acting standpoint. Having Seth Rogan as voice talent may seem like a bad idea, but Paul ends up really feeling like one of the guys. It was a surprisingly natural performance from a CGI character.
There’s plenty of pop culture references and funny homages to other classic alien movies throughout. All the side characters do a good job, and once again it’s just a decently entertaining comedy. And like Greg Motolla’s other comedies Superbad and Adventureland, he at least attempts to mix some emotionally driven material in with the laughs. While it’s no Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, Paul is still a worthwhile Pegg/Frost joint. “It’s not fat, it’s power!”
7 out of 10