“Paul” beams its way into theaters today. The road trip alien action comedy (oh yeah – it’s all of that and more) stars our favorite Brits Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as they happen upon a visitor from beyond (that’d be Paul, voiced by Seth Rogen) in the desert outside Area 51 while enjoying a post-Comic-Con RV tour of America’s storied UFO heartland.
Turns out that Paul’s fleeing from government officials – the most menacing of them being the mysterious and driven Agent Zoil (played by Jason Bateman). The sci-fi geeks eventually bond with Paul, becoming fellow fugitives when they accidentally kidnap naïve religious zealot Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig). Zoil’s clueless cronies Haggard (Bill Hader) and O’Reilly (Joe Lo Truglio) add to the uproarious mix, as does Jane Lynch in a cameo as a bartender that’ll have you jonesin’ to put sparklers in all your drinks.
We strongly endorse the side-splitting hilarity of “Paul” – it’s more than worth checking out this weekend, and here are five reasons why.
THE EPIC BRIT BROMANCE
Real-life best friends (and former roommates) Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have a storied cinematic history together. They first starred together in director Edgar Wright’s popular British TV show “Spaced,” and have since played besties in hit movies like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Their on-screen pairing basically guarantees perfect comedic chemistry.
THE NERDTASTIC REFERENCES
Recognizing the endless tongue-in-cheek throwbacks to classic movies from your youth (think: “Star Wars,” “Close Encounters,” “Aliens”) will make you feel pleasantly smug. And you better believe there’s a Wilhelm scream hidden in there, too!
YOU LOVE ROAD TRIP FLICKS
“Paul” is essentially an action comedy on wheels – in the style of obvious favorite “Road Trip,” but with the heart of “Away We Go.” If you’re a fan of National Lampoon’s “Vacation,” “The Sure Thing,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” “The Chase,” “Thelma & Louise” or “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Paul” will be right up your alley, with a sci-fi twist in tow.
Though Greg Mottola (“Superbad,” “Adventureland”) isn’t traditionally thought of as an action director, he managed to squeeze a surprising amount of gunplay, car chases and explosions into “Paul.” And they’re hilarious fun to boot, mostly due to the wickedly on-point comedic timing of Jason Bateman and Bill Hader.
SETH ROGEN. AS AN ALIEN.
Imagine a CGI alien with Rogen’s voice, mannerisms and trademark slacker ‘tude. ‘Nuff said!
Tell us what you think of “Paul” in the comments section and on Twitter!