Paul – A Film Review

Posted: March 7, 2011 in DVD Bonus Features

*Simon Pegg teaches Paul to ‘open wide’. I like a man that leads by example.*


Movie reviews are a funny thing. They are so trusted, and yet so subjective. The only way you can really trust them is if you read mine. Except I don’t write reviews.

I could review… anything. Cats, Cat Deeley, whatever I like. I think I’d actually like to give it an old go.Sometimes you’ve just gotta roll the dice.

Wish me luck.


I went to see Paul last night with Big Boots, Roger and Rob. I’ve seen Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, and I felt a little unsure about this. I mean, it is Simon and Nick, but it’s also Seth Rogen. And last time I checked he wasn’t Simon or Nick. And that’s unacceptable.

There’s a standard to their films. To start with, You’ve gotta be British. Dylan Moran, for example, has earned his Hollywood worthiness – or ‘Holliness’ – with his black-booksness. Then there’s Martin Freeman. A legend. I’d happily sit with John Mayer on my left and him on my right. As long as we didn’t discuss Love Actually. Then it’d be one of those awkward wedding dinners where you don’t like/care about the people sitting next to you. Not that that ever happened to me. When I was best man.

The standard of actors so far is as follows:

Dawn from The Office – Jasper Carrott’s daughter. Quality.

Paddy Considine – In the Bourne movies. And English. Played.

Timothy Dalton – 2nd best Bond. That’s even better than being #1. Actually not quite.

Tamsin Greig – Meh. A bad example.

Bill Bailey – The funniest man on earth? Now that’d be a good BBC Saturday night knockout show. Live Britain’s Got Talent but taking all of the best comedians and having a laugh-off. It could be hosted by Bruce Forsyth and Ken Dodd and they can constantly talk about the old days of comedy before it was funny to be Marcus Brigstocke. Done. Copyrighted.

But you see the pantheon of greatness forming! So, with Paul… What happened? Let’s use the ‘Last 3 Rounds of The FA Cup’ analysis method to figure that one out.


1) Blythe Danner (P) vs Matt Lucas (SotD)

2) Seth Rogen (P) vs Jim Broadbent (HF)

3) Champ Kind, Sports (P) vs Peter Serafinowicz (SotD)

4) Brarbara from Flight of the Conchords (P) vs Lizzie from Shaun of the Dead (SotD)


1) Blythe Danner – Little Britain was an embarrassment. As was Meet The Parents 2 and above, but at least they had a wicked RV, as did Paul. And Paul’s was driven by English guys. Which I guess somehow means more points for Blythe.

2) Jim Broadbent – Seth is part of this dumb new American generation that think extreme crudeness is comedy. Russell Brand’s the same. Uncreative invertebrate attention-grabbing insecure teenagers incapable of emotional maturity. Learn from Ken and Bruce. All the lessons are there on 5 for £1 videos from charity shops. Imagine saying the finest foods are bowls full of Tabasco sauce. That’s the same. Also Jim’s worked with Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan. Steve Coogan! He should definitely have been in this tournament instead of Matt Lucas.

3) It’s close… but Peter Serafinowicz. Look around you. Also he deserves mention for being a naked zombie in many people’s minds.

4) Brabara from Flight of the Conchords. Getting the sympathy vote for her pepileptic dog. And wonky eye. In Flight and Paul. Or ‘Flaul’.


1) Blythe Danner vs Jim Broadbent

2) Peter Serafinowicz vs Brabs.


1) Jim Broadbent – 1) He’s English. 2) He’s a reverend

2) Peter Serafinowicz – 1) He’s English. 2) He’s got to be nearly 6 foot 8.


It doesn’t matter. They’re both English. And in Shaun and/or Hot Fuzz but NOT Paul. And. But if you’re that bothered the winner’s Jim Broadbent.

Now let’s analyse the key running jokes that make a Sick Fregg movie. Both 1 and 2 of The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy had these.

1)      Cornetto references.

2)     “What’s the matter, never taken a shortcut before?”

3)      Bill Nighy.

4)      Hilarious Anglicisms like having a sit down after killing a zombie.

5)      Gore. All gore.

6)      Edgar Wright’s awesome camerawork.

7)      Ridiculous amounts of swearing.

8)      Lots of English TV comedians as co-stars.

9)      Nick Frost dying. Ish.

10)   Callbacks to comments made earlier on in the film.

11)    Simon Pegg as the manly man.

12)    Rafe Spall. But I put him last because nobody knows who he is.

For Paul for be a true son of thunder, it needs to get at least a C on this. Which was 60% when i did GCSEs.

1)       No Cornetto references. But Paul asks for a ‘Reece’s Pieces’. Golden  opportunity to get him to ask for a cornetto wasted.

2)       Plenty of RV driving scenes. And chances to take a shortcut.

3)       No Bill Nighy, but a role suited for him in that Adam Shadowman celebrity who shows no interest in Sick.

4)       Reading the safety instructions on fireworks. Yes! Calling the ‘parking lot’ a car park. Good. But oh no! Nick Frost corrects him! Zero points!

5)       No gore. Hot Fuzz made me cover my eyes when Tim Messenger lost his head. Oh wait, there’s a gunshot wound. Meh. Watch the finale of Hot Fuzz and go ‘meh.’

6)       No Edgar Wright. And it shows. This was in the words of Chris Morris a “STANDARD FILM”. By film standards, not by theirs. And Chris Morris didn’t quite say that. But you either already know that or don’t care.

7)       Plenty. But swearing’s cheap.

8)        No co-star Brits. Why did Paul have to have a US accent? He could have picked his up watching Spaced, like Reuben from Norway.

9)        Ah. Simon did this bit. The outcome was obvious though. I’d picked up my 10 points for this half the film ago.

10)     Callbacks. Only the bit about him raising humans from the dead. Which again, isn’t on the scale of Hot Fuzz’s farmers and farmers’ moms having guns joke. And is slightly less good than the fascist, hag bit.

11)       Simon got the girl. But mostly because he doesn’t have Nick’s power, and the girl was ridiculously horny. He didn’t become a man as the film went on. Just less surprised.

12)       I don’t know who Rafe Spall is.

So. 4/12. 33%. And 3 of those should really have been half points.

Having said all that, it’s a good film. The alien was impressively personable. If our boys were trying to make a film about a character, then they’ve done well! Though the character isn’t particularly deep. Just standard modern-cool.

The CGI’s ace, but of course it is, because it’s 2011. And it’s a film.

There are good moments in it, and Americans will start to pay more attention to Simon because of it. They’ve clearly got some good US friends now in the shape of Jason Bateman and the wench from Glee, but this film indicates that they’ve forgotten the real reason for their success. The Englishness. For example, the backdrop. Inner London pubs versus vast desert scenes. They’ve received a promotion, but are becoming the very thing Simon portrayed in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.

It’s enjoyable, But I expected more. If this is the last film the two make together, this will forever be the ugly sister of the three. Their very own Be Here Now. Which was alright in fairness. But I don’t expect alright from Sick Fregg. Unless it’s got 7 minutes of helicopters and reversed guitars.


My final thought.

Fair play to them for trying something new, but which is the better album – ‘Parachutes’ or ‘Viva la Vida’?

Enough said.

Stars: Some. Not enough.


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