It’s about an alien called Paul. This was Simon Pegg’s throwaway comment when he was asked while doing press for Hot Fuzz what his next project would be. It took a while to make it happen but Pegg and Nick Frost do indeed star with a loveable alien called Paul.
I enjoyed this. Really silly but funny, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Seth Rogen could probably live solely off voiceover work and his natural comedic delivery serves this well.
Comic book nerds on the run with an escaped alien should be a slightly too obvious pitch but you take the extreme silliness in return from great one liners. Paul does not take kindly to the stereotypical human assumption that close encounters involve probing, for example.
The film stays just the right side of crude but there is still some slapstick stuff to enjoy. The strongest message that comes through is the clearly atheist message. Debunking religious beliefs in a direct and withering way, the film shows how a belief in things that don’t make sense can be just as foolish as mocking those who believe in little green men. Do you see what I did there?
Whether or not we are alone in the universe, it is clear that taking religious stories as gospel, pun intended, leads to problems. It’s fine to take parables as life lessons but once you start wars because someone doesn’t believe in your physically impossible miracle story then you’ve gone beyond any right-minded thinking.
This started as a review of a comedy. I enjoyed it by the way. Did I mention that?