There are always going to be the optimal audience members for a given film. Sometimes movie makers make that group so specific that it's possible no one will know they were supposed to be part of it. I'm a little afraid Paul will be part of that group of movies, with no one aware that this movie was made for them. Going in, I had no idea this movie was made for me. **No spoilers if you've seen the trailer or cast list**
Paul reteams the stars of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg - Clive and Graham respectively. This time, they're more laid back, but in a naive way, with longer hair, a bit more fluff around the middle, and a more happy go lucky attitude. They have arrived at Comic-Con, the Mecca for geeks, nerds, dweebs and movie-fans alike. Clive has even written a science fiction novel (about a woman with three tits - apparently that extra tit is a source of endless amusement) and they get their hero's signature. After Comic-con they set off on a road trip adventure in an RV to visit all of the UFO/alien sites across the US. I'll admit, these went a little beyond my personal nerd knowledge, but it's really enough to know they have something to do with a sighting/abduction/landing. Then they witness a car crash and getting out to help, they meet Paul. About 4' tall, large head, no shirt (just pants - like Mickey Mouse), and a Seth Rogan mouth - literally and figuratively, he does the voice. Paul is on the run and needs help (the exact reasons are explained slowly). After Clive (Frost) faints, Graham agrees to help Paul get away.
Greg Mottola directed Superbad and Adventureland, and if you've seen those, you know what you're in for with Paul, and it more than lives up to the other two (one of which I did NOT like). It's more for a grown up group of sci-fi nerds. There are homages to every single franchise (some more direct than others), and a guest voice appearance when we learn the real source of E.T.. Twilight Zone, The X-files, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc. make an entrance. I'm sure there were more (Doctor Who, comic books) but that was the extent of my knowledge and I laughed my ass off. Pegg and Frost are their always winning buddy-duo with many recurring jokes and nods to their other work together. Terrific fun - if you fall into any of the demographics to find elements of this funny. If you have a nerdy bone in your body, this movie is for you. 3.5 of 5 stars/lambs
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