Zach Davis

Directed by: Greg Mottola

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, John Carroll Lynch, Sigourney Weaver, and Jane Lynch

Paul was penned by British comedy icons Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and it shows.  These men are known lovers of comics and science fiction — two genres that serve as the main backdrop of the story.  Their work comes off as a fanboy screenplay that was somehow green lit into production.

Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) are two British comic book scribes on vacation in America.  They start their trip at the San Diego Comic-Con but plan to extend their holiday by touring UFO hotspots in the American Southwest.  While on the road at night, the two friends witness a horrific car accident and come across an alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) who has just escaped imprisonment by the US government at Area 51.  Agreeing to help Paul, the two friends decide to change their vacation plans to help get him a ride back to his home planet. 

Paul is actually being hunted down by a secret government agency, and they’re hot on this fugitive’s tail.  Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman) is in hot water with The Big Guy (Sigourney Weaver) after letting Paul get this far, so she puts a pair of rookie agents (Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio) on the case to assist him.  Aware of the fact that agents are pursuing them, Paul and his new friends pull off into a trailer park run by a fundamentalist father and daughter.  Upon discovering the alien, the daughter Ruth (Kristen Wiig) freaks out.  This effectively forces Graeme and Clive to kidnap her and flee the trailer park.  They then make a run for the Rendezvous point with Paul’s fellow beings.  Now, the comic book writers have to outrun a secret agency and Ruth’s father to get Paul back home safely.

Director Greg Mottola put together a great ensemble cast for Paul, but that didn’t save the movie from being a bunch of mediocre crap.  The film delivers few laughs.  Pegg and Frost have written a predictable plot that does little to garner one’s attention, and the few scenes with any potential don’t get the spotlight.

Credit though should go out to Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio.  Their portrayals of the bumbling agents Haggard and O’Reilly were quite fun to watch.  They stole every scene they were in.   They provided the rare enjoyable moments in the film.  These few moments are not enough to save the film though, so you’re going to need to liquor up for this one.  Grab a few cocktails before attempting to watch Paul because it’s definitely getting a 0.09% rating.