Paul is a silly comedy that will bring up feelings of nostalgia and desire for all sci-fi geeks, but not much beyond that small audience.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost bring their cleverness to the sci-fi world as two space enthusiasts from the UK vacationing in California for Comic-Con, establishing its geek credibility. Beyond that, there are some funny bits and Seth Rogen delivers some good lines as the alien, Paul, but it's not an epic adventure that everyone will love.
Pegg and Frost play Graeme and Clive, two sci-fi geeks who come to the USA to live their alien dreams. The duo start off at comic-con and then rent a Winnebago to travel across America, visiting all the alien landmarks. Their sci-fi journey gets a shock of reality when they meet a real-life alien (how convenient) named Paul. After being in Area 51 for years, Paul is running from the government (Jason Bateman) who no longer has any use for him and wants him dead in order to experiment on him. He is looking for his ship in order to get back home and escape his ill fate.
Unnecessary gay jokes and crude humor keep surfacing in between a weak storyline. It a film set in an old RV with random speaking and jokes throughout. Although director Greg Mottola tries to weave a story into the film, it's masked by the attempted humor, which most of the time, doesn't even fit.
Pegg and Frost are lovable, but they just come across as unaware and stupid tourists. Yes, they are in the American Southwest, which isn't even remotely similar to Britain, but their naivete to that part of America doesn't come across as funny, it just makes them seem awkward and dumb.
Kristen Wiig stars as Ruth, and although it was strange to see Wiig as an evangelical Christian, she was actually very funny. Her faith is tested when she meets Paul and the fact that the theory of evolution might just be how the world came to be is a struggle for her to accept. Wiig is hilarious as she plays a shy and awkward Ruth who comes out of her shell after running away with Graeme, Clive, and Paul. Her first attempts at swearing (in all the wrong places) is one of the few actual funny bits in the movie.
Seth Rogen doesn't actually appear in Paul, but his voice does. He lends his vocal talents to the little alien who has a dirty mouth and a crude sense of humor. Rogen does a great job of delivering his lines and, although we can't actually see him, we see his voice translate well through the alien.
Overall, sci-fi geeks will probably appreciate the ode to their interests and passion, but there aren't enough funny moments to keep this film afloat for the entire time.