PAUL

Fans of Simon Pegg and NIck Frost will go into PAUL with outrageously high expectations. The pair that brought us SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ are really in their wheelhouse with a movie about aliens, comic books and geeks, right? Er, uh, not so much. This two hour trip from San Diego to Wyoming also travels from absurd to ridiculous with several stops at hilarious along the way. The premise involves to 30 something sci-fi geeks from England who travel to ComiCon for the first time. After the show they rent and RV with the intention of visiting noted alien tourist spots between California and New Mexico. The first half of the movie is an orgy of geekiness, with Pegg and Frost at nerdy best. They meet Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) and that’s where the movie alternately takes off and screeches to a halt. And other than a bland appearance by the blah Kristen Wiig, I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it’s because there is not enough Pegg and Frost being geeky. Too many moments where they aim for the heart, rather than the funny bone? Yeah, that could be it too. There are several really funny cameos and references to SciFi that only a true fan would recognize or love. Jason Bateman is good as always and Rogen brings the right comic touch to Paul. But it just doesn’t go over the top as far as SHAUN and FUZZ do. And that’s a shame, because this could have been really good. — Alan Yudman

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