Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Druggie Aliens.

With Edgar Wright as their spearhead, these two actors have already shown the middle finger to the zombie genre, they've wiped their arses with cop movies and now they take on alien movies. Alone. That's right. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up without Edgar Wright directing to produce their interpretation of the alien sub-genre.

Two nerds, Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost), go to live their dream. To visit comic-con and then tour famous alien related sites in a giant RV. Normal behaviour for us Brits then? Well maybe not. Especially not when they help cause a car to fly off the road. Being human, they start to call for an ambulance but aren't quite sure what to do when an alien steps out from the wreckage. Well, Clive does. He faints. However, the three start to become good friends. Clive and Graeme decide to help 'Paul' (Seth Rogen) get back to his ship despite the government on his trail. On their way they encounter anti-evolution bible freaks, hunters, and a rather amusing cameo or two. But it's truly a buddy comedy with bonding experiences despite being shot at every now and then.

The driving cover of Bohemian Rhapsody didn't
quite have the same effect as Wayne's World.

The replacement of Edgar Wright with Nick Frost as Pegg's writing partner has some rather noticeable differences. Where Wright brought in witty dialogue, Frost brought in fart and weed jokes. The big comedic difference here is that, while Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz true British, clever, parody comedy, Paul uses mates humor. Things you may laugh at down at the bar or at a party don't always translate well onto screen. While the silly nature of an old lady sighing, "there goes my pot" may seem humorous at first, you soon realise it was out of place, out of context and completely un-needed. That being said, the movie is hilarious. The fart and weed jokes are outweighed by decent writing with great character work.

Pegg and Frost are in their element as nerds. Who needs to act? Throughout the movie, they remain the same characters. There is no unexplained Epiphany where they decide to become awesome and help aliens. They're just nerds. Rogen's Paul is the main centre for the comedy. His forwardness and almost pathetic invisibility powers are comedy gold. And the entire films comic timing. For example:
"Clive: What if we wake up and find him inserting a probe into our anus?
Graeme: Well apparently they don't do that.
Paul: [Paul wiggles his finger inside the hole of a bagel] Anyone want one of these? Yeah? Anyone?"
At first Seth Rogen's voice seems wrong, and I still don't think he was the right choice, but it grows on you. I kinda just want him to do a role that doesn't involve smoking weed or talking about his own dick.
On the other side of the scale, the 'baddies' are brilliant. The fumbling pair of agents, Haggard (Bill Hader) and O'Reilly, (Joe Lo Truglio) are the real fools of the movie and Jason Bateman throws in a great turn as Agent Zoil. He's serious and funny. Even if he is completely overshadowed by his boss, The Big Guy. (Don't want to ruin this cameo. It made me laugh. A lot.)

There's aliens around here. And that's how Sue Cs it.

A geek's paradise is very similar to this film. It's full of references to every alien movie. From E.T to Alien. Spielberg's voice even makes an appearance on the phone. If you're like me and my friend, you'll find these hidden moments hilarious and laugh aloud in the cinema and everyone else will judge you. And it will be good. The only other film with this many alien references is Planet 51 (which, surprisingly, isn't too bad.) It even has a nerdy soundtrack and particular camera shots echo those from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Director Greg Mottola's input on the comedy will ring bells with fans of his other movies such as Superbad. But this is certainly better.

Overall a good film. Not quite Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead, and certainly not to be confused with the third of that trilogy. But it's still a load of laughs and great to watch with you (nerdy) friends.Best Bit? There's a lot of good bits. One of my favourite lines has to be "Hey fucknuts! Probing time."

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