by: J.D. Cook
What does a love of the X-Files, comedy and all things nerdy breed? Well if those two did ever artistically mate the offspring would probably resemble 2011’s Paul written by and starring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg as the science fiction writer Clive Gollings and his friend Graeme Willy respectively. The film starts with the pair attending San Diego Comic Con and then engaging in a U.F.O. tour of the United States. It’s on this little trip that they bump into Paul a loveable alien voiced by Seth Rogen who has been kept by the U.S. Government for years. Hilariously Paul has given rise to various science fiction films such as E.T. and the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark via discussing his people’s technology, history and powers with people like Steven Spielberg who has a voice cameo in the film. There are tons of great references to various science fiction works throughout the film. When the group enters a local bar in Midwestern America it strongly resembles the Cantina scene from Star Wars, the final location of the film is straight out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and there is a great cameo from the queen of Science Fiction, who I will keep a mystery in case you have yet to see the film. The cast is a stellar mix and Jason Bateman is a real stand out as Government agent Zoil, oh yes there is a reason his last name is so strange. Unfortunately I do have one problem with the film. There is a great debate raised in the movie when Paul, an extraterrestrial, meets a girl from a Christian fundamentalist family played by Kristen Wiig. It’s a funny moment when Paul passes his knowledge of evolution onto her via telepathic mind link but after this moment the film continues to poke fun at Christian fundamentalists at every chance it gets and not only do the jokes get a bit stale it starts to sound like the film is saying that anyone who believes in a God is dumb. Now that is never expressly said but it was a subtext I certainly picked up. I’m not a devoutly religious person but I also don’t believe having faith makes a person stupid. Anyway I will get off my high horse and finish this article by saying Paul has a lot of enjoyable moments and if you like Pegg and Frost it will certainly keep you entertained throughout.