I think Simon Pegg and Nick Frost make funny films. Their latest, Paul, looked like it was going to be the latest in a series of funny films including Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Run Fatboy Run. I saw it on Thursday at Runcorn Cineworld and I have to reluctantly report that I didn’t find it very funny. It’s had reasonably positive reviews but I can’t really see why as it’s undoubtedly the weakest of the films mentioned above.
I hate to have to say this stuff because, generally speaking, I’m a fan of Pegg and Frost but in Paul it feels like things have been spread a bit thin; the comedy watered down a bit too far. First thing, the plot is rubbish; sub-standard road movie crap with the usual sub-mental FBI pursuers. How could such brilliant scriptwriters allow themselves to be so lazy as to use the old chestnut of ‘hilarious’ FBI agents take up so much screen time? I realise the whole thing was supposed to be sending up the SF, ET type movie but this wasn’t sending up those characters it was just trotting them out for another clichéd airing. Second thing; it’s not that funny. I laughed out loud maybe once. I smiled maybe three times. I almost fell asleep twice. I mean, that whole sequence in the SF memorabilia store where ‘hilarious’ FBI agents mistake Paul for a rubber alien…. a despicable abomination which would look lazy in a Bless This House script! If they were aiming at an audience of 11 year-olds then fair enough but the bad language ensured a 15 certificate so presumably they were aiming this garbage at actual adults with actual brains.
On the plus side; I loved the bible-basher bashing, the Comic-Con scenes, and the first five swearing jokes. Can’t think of anything else positive to say. Maybe I’ve been a bit harsh here… I’m thinking of the review I wrote for Little Fockers recently (another average film) which wasn’t anywhere near as critical. The thing is… my expectations were higher for this one. I have huge respect for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and I expect them to turn out exceptional movies. Usually if I see an average film I just snort and call it average. When I see an average film from these two fellas I produce blood from my eyes and call the thing an abomination. Double standards and pretty unfair really but it’s their own fault for being so brilliant initially.
Maybe this little review has done you a favour. If you see Paul after reading this you’ll be expecting an abomination. What you’ll actually see is an average film and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You’ll come out of the cinema saying ‘hey, that wasn’t so bad, in fact I’d go so far as to say it that in parts it was actually average! Fancy a pizza?’