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REVIEW: Paul

Now Paul, the last of my drive-in triple bill, was the movie I didn’t expect to be good. And in a lot of ways, it ain’t. I love Simon Pegg and I love Nick Frost but there’s only so much these boys can do with Greg Mottola and their own script. There’s only so much work that can be done to elevate a movie to the kind of stadium status that Paul is lumped together with (Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz). And at the end of the day, when the fart and testicle jokes come from character, they make sense–but when they come from a misguided sense of what’s funny to American audiences, or just from two dudes sitting, writing, grossing each other out… they just feel weird.

Paul is a movie–talk about stating the obvious–about an alien slacker named Paul. Probably because we’re entirely incapable of pronouncing his real name or something–honestly, the movie waves that past with a hand like a Jedi. It waves a lot of things past like the hand of a Jedi, and I suppose your enjoyment of this movie is really dependent on two things. 1) How many science-fiction references do you laugh at in other projects? 2) Do you still find them funny, even if it’s just a fleeting reference to something you’ve seen? It’s just a movie saying “I’ve seen Aliens!” and you laughing, because you’ve seen Aliens, too. That’s not–that isn’t humour, that’s just referring to things your audience should have some familiarity with. Which means if you’re Ailish, you don’t laugh at the movie’s biggest gags because they’re all quotes from things you’ve never seen. Hey, babe.

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