“Paul” is the movie we wanted “Fanboys”to be: Not only a movie about nerds (/geeks/ fanboys/ etc), but also a clever comedy about those cos-playing people, who are often labelled as society weirdos, outsiders, etc.
The movie “Fanboys” was supposed to be a parody to geeks, but it failed epicly.
“Paul” on the other hand, doesn´t, and succeeds in most aspects in my opinion. Two nerdy guys from England (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) travel to the Comic-Con in California, and also want to go on a sightseeing tour to famous UFO-landing places. On the way they meet a real Alien – called Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen). He is on the run, and needs their help to escape to his shuttle. The trio is persuited by a sinister secret agent (Jason Bateman) and his two -rather dull – minions, alway being watched by The Big Guy (Sigourney Weaver).
On their flight the trio also kidneps the fundamental Christian Ruth, whose father also persuits them in order to return hins daughter safely.
So, there are a lot of problems and conflicts coming up, but the main theme is the friendship between Paul and the other two guys. Also, a love-story between Ruth and Peggs character is about to begin.
It´s a pity, in my opinion, that the conflict-potential between science (Paul) and Faith (Ruth) is not even slightly issued. One touch of Paul and it is proven to Ruth that God doesn´t exist (what bothers me as a Catholic a little bit). I mean, sure, it shouldn´t go the Christian propaganda-way “The Day The Earth Stood Still” went (the original, not the remake), but at least something like “Just because aliens exist doesn´t mean God doesn´t” or something like that. But it´s ok, I`ll just go with it.
There are also some references to alien encounters (like the famous UFO-crash in roswell), and alien movies (even Steven Spileberg makes a cameo, though E.T. is referenced a lot I can tell you) . Did you ever ask why aliens are portrayed the way they are (giant head, small grey body). Here you have the answer: They are all portrayed like Paul.
Paul is a classy comedy, with a lot of low jokes and pop-cultural references. A fun movie, not only for nerds 😉