Paul–Movie Review

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3.5 Stars
Paul is a moderately funny comedy that will probably please sci-fi fans but may offend the religiously sensitive.

Graeme and Clive (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) are British nerds who travel to San Diego to attend Comic-Con, then rent an RV to tour the major UFO sites of the American Southwest. While traveling past Area 51 they encounter a small vulgar space-alien named Paul who sounds exactly like Seth Rogan. Paul has escaped from the airbase where he has been held prisoner since 1947. He needs a ride north to Wyoming where he hopes to meet up with a UFO sent to rescue him.

The boys agree to help, but soon end up accidentally kidnapping a pretty Christian Fundamentalist (Kristen Wiig). The four of them proceed north pursued by a trio of bumbling but ruthless government agents (Jason Bateman, Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio) and the girl’s redneck father (John Carroll Lynch)

All this is not quite as hilarious as you might think from the description, but it does provide a few big laughs and a fair number of chuckles. Science fiction fans will appreciate the numerous references to classic movies. (Paul is apparently responsible for much of our popular culture, at least as far as aliens are concerned.)

I suppose it takes a certain amount of courage to poke fun at Fundamentalist Christians the way this movie does. Not only does this group dominate one of the country’s two main political parties, but it also makes up a significant fraction of the movie-going public. Offending them is bound to hurt at the box office.

Indeed, Christians of all stripes may feel grounds for annoyance. The movie manages to suggest that if you can prove that any part of the Bible is not literally true, then there is nothing left of Christianity. But surely it is just as unfair to paint all Christians as Biblical literalists as it is to depict all Muslims as militant Islamists.

1 thought on “Paul–Movie Review

  1. BBT

    Sounds like an ET noir. But as repelled as I am by right wing church politics, I might enjoy it.

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