Most modern comedies end up being so stupid that it’s painful to watch the actors embarrass themselves on the big screen. There are also comic actors who seem to have a string of box office successes even as their films are stupid and only barely entertaining. That’s why it’s a pleasure to see the terrific comic team of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost skewer the alien conspiracy genre in the consistently funny Paul.
As an unabashed fan of cinema, I love when films have subtle references to other films, to famous scenes in movies, to music from other movies or even shoot scenes in exterior locales famous from other movies. Paul does all of this, and there are so many nods to Spielberg films — particularly Close Encounters of the Third Kind — that it makes me wonder if Steven wasn’t one of the production team. In fact, there’s one scene out of Raiders of the Lost Ark that’s just a brilliant juxtaposition, and when they end up at the Devil’s Tower for the climactic scene of the film, well, I was just delighted.