This isn’t the third installment in the so-called Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Note the missing element: Edgar Wright, who directed and co-wrote with Pegg both the 2004 zom-com Shaun of the Dead and 2007’s Hot Fuzz, in which Pegg and Frost re-enacted at least one scene from every buddy-cop movie ever made.
Greg Mottola directs Paul, and Seth Rogen voices the title character: a shirtless, foulmouthed, dope-smoking, ass-flashing E.T. It’s the ultimate modern-comedy crossover, as damp a dork’s dream as when Kirk met Picard in Star Trek: Generations, among the approximately 382 films referenced.
The film plods in places, but Paul is a simple pleasure — half of its dialogue consists of lines lifted from every sci-fi comfort-food staple fed to growing fanboys in the 1970s and ’80s.
Kristin Wiig is the highlight, bringing depth and genuine warmth to the thankless, one-dimensional role of a God-fearing Bible-thumper. An alien concept, indeed.