Paul

I just wanted to start by saying, sorry for the lack of recent content;  this is because I am currently abroad and watching all film’s from Netflix on my laptop. Therefore if you have any suggestions of film’s to watch on Netflix, please leave them in the comments below. Anyway, for choosing my film to watch last night, I was given one proviso by my parents: it had to be short. Therefore I gave myself up to the 100 minute running time mark, for deciding my film. However, as I had been pretty set on watching ‘Prisoners’, which is 153 minutes long, it took me a good 15-20 minutes just to decide on my film. The film I chose after my long deliberation was ‘Cloverfield’; so, obviously when I sat down, I changed my mind and clicked on Paul instead.

What is it about?

Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Goldings (Nick Frost,) two geeks from England, travel to the United States: first to go to Comic Con and then to road trip across the country seeking out UFO hotspots. However, whilst driving at night on their way to reach Area 51, a car dramatically crashes ahead of them. Upon initial investigation there is nothing to be found; until out of the darkness steps Paul, an Alien who is fighting for his life to escape the clutches of the government. As the pair “roll the dice” and eventually let him onboard their RV, they rush northward to help him get back home.

What did I think?

This is right up there with my favourite comedies of all time. Why? Because I could not stop laughing. Some jokes that were said prompted initial outbreaks of laughter; but then managed to sustain/ reignite fresh waves of hysterics with me just thinking about the jokes. I thought Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) was great and deserved as much screen time as he could get; however, I think my favourite character for the comedy was Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig.) One of her random outbreaks of nonsensical swearing was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Even when I think of it now I grin or let out a little chuckle at how absurd it was. (For those who want to see it, on Netflix it is around minute 50.) Additionally, I liked that we followed Paul, Graeme, Clive and Ruth for the majority of the film as their humour never really got old. Whereas, I felt the other main supporting narrative thread could have become tedious fairly quickly if it was overused. Nevertheless, Jason Bateman, as with ‘Game Night’, is perfect at the fore with comedy roles. Finally, I thought the writing from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost was pretty good; although it draws on very frequently used ideas and was quite predictable, it still felt fairly interesting with regard to: the plot progression and general humour.

HOWEVER, although this is a comedy, certain aspects of the film needed to take themselves seriously. For a comedy to be as good as it can be; across the board it needs to treat the stupid, ridiculous source material with respect. For example, in Game Night all of the ensemble treated the film’s premise as tangible, which meant that we as an audience did too and were only laughing with the character’s and not at them (or the film because of it’s stupidity.) However, the characters: Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio,) just seemed to be laughing at themselves and the plot throughout. Therefore, although I don’t believe it cast a particularly dark shadow on the film, it was frustrating at the points. Finally and rather obviously, this film was utter nonsense and, other than comedy, had no real emotional effect.

My Rating:  7/10

This film was so funny that despite it’s failings as a “good” film it worked for me. I found the cast very likeable, other than a few peripheral exceptions, and thought that it moved forward at a breezy and enjoyable pace.

If you enjoyed this post then please follow me here and on my social media @judesfilmreview(s).

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