Paul is to alien movies as Hot Fuzz was to police movies.  Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who wrote and star in the movie, jam every possible reference to “alien comes to Earth” movies you can think of.

It’s good, funny, but pretty predictable.  Frost and Pegg do their best to mix it up and one twist with the agents who are chasing them is pretty good.  Still, one of the conventions of the movie that explains why it’s so derivative is, well, a bit derivative.  To be fair, a lot of this ground was already covered by Roger on American Dad.

Paul is an alien that crash landed on Earth, ended up trapped in Roswell for 60 years and now has finally escaped.  There’s a scene where it is explained that Paul influenced American culture to pave the way for his people to come to Earth, but in light of the rest of the movie, that kind of doesn’t make sense.  Maybe there’s a scene missing.

Still, the movie is a lot of funny.  Funny performances from Pegg, Frost, Kristin Wiig, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Jeffrey Tambor, Jane Lynch and Joe Lo Truglio from the State, who finally gets a decent supporting role.  (Go Joe.)  Seth Rogen as the voice of the alien isn’t bad, but he’s almost too famous for the role.

Paul as a character facilitates the changes in the other characters, but in the context that he was an alien that crashlanded on Earth, he falls short.  You never get a really clear picture of who Paul is, other than he’s rude, funny and likes to have fun.

I like this movie, but it still felt like it fell short somehow.  Can’t quite put my finger on it.  Maybe it’s because Pegg and Frost have such good chemistry and are so natural on screen, that I could’ve watched a movie about two friends traveling in the states.  The best moments are really when the movie is slamming religion and that probably would’ve worked without the alien to a great degree.  The addition of the alien seems almost like too much.  It’s definitely a great rental if you miss it in the movies and not a bad night out.   I suspect the DVD will be chock full of extras.

I give Paul 7 out of 10 keggers.