Paul gives little evidence of intelligent life

Paul (Unrated) – 2011

Directed by Greg Mottola

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen (voice),  Jane Lynch, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, Sigourney Weaver, Blythe Danner, John Carroll Lynch, David Koechner, Jesse Plemons, Jeffrey Tambor

Written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

For Shaun of the Dead alone, Pegg and Frost deserve the benefit of the doubt for any project in the future.  It was dark, dreary, British and the funniest movie since Stripes.  Shaun…was a fresh take on rotting corpses, filled with actors unfamiliar to Americian audiences.  Paul, in contrast, is filled with known actors and actresses, and a story which, while we have not seen before exactly, does not scream originality.  In this case, we are then left with the chemistry between the main characters and the comic situations.

And that’s why it is an almost complete failure.  There is lots of swearing, plenty of crudity, a complete and utter abandonment of a lifelong belief structure.  All in the vain pursuit of a few laughs.  Everyone in this movie has done better work.  Much better work.  As if to remind us, there are lines from better scripts sprinkled throughout.  Where it goes wrong, is in the script, to be sure.  The pacing is slow, the thought processes are slow, the enthusiasm is waning.  I went through the entire film without laughing once.

Where it goes right, there is an undeniable chemistry between Pegg and Frost.  It’s a bit too relaxed and reliant on cursing for me, but you can tell these two are friends.  One can never have too many E.L.O. songs in a sound track.  None of the characters are inherently hate-able.  And that’s about it.

You can skip this film, unless you weren’t dissuaded enough by Hot Fuzz to have any doubts about the magic of Pegg and Frost.

(*1/2 out of *****)

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