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Last year was a really bad year for movies (see: 2012 review). Happily, this year we have seen a couple of good ones, including Paul, which we saw last week.
Written by the boys who did Hot Fuzz and Sean of the Dead, it’s the story of two friend from the UK who, after attending Comic-con, take a road trip through the USA to all the “alien” sites – Area 51, Roswell, etc. In their first day on the road, they see a car crash and when they investigate, they find Paul, an alien who has been kept prisoner by the government since his ship crashed back in the 1950’s. Paul has managed to contact his home planet and someone is on the way to pick him up, but on the way to the collection point he has to outrun the law, a bible-bashing shotgun-wielding crazy man, and two rednecks whose car the boys accidentally damaged at a truck stop, amongst others.
Jason Bateman is excellent as the FBI agent chasing Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are understated and funny, and some classy cameos from Blythe Danner and Sigourney Weaver round out the great cast. Classic references to the sci-fi genre, including Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Trek are so subtly done that it takes a moment to realise where you heard that line before. All in all it was a very clever movie and certainly one of the better comedies I’ve seen in a few years. I do recommend you see it.