Reviewed on 2011 March 27
Screwy version of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial for grown-ups, featuring a pair of nerds and an alien with a soft spot for our pop culture but needing to get home nonetheless.
Graeme Willy and Clive Gollings (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) are two British comic book nerds who made it to San Diego Comic-Con, then decide there’s only one way to top that. They want to indulge in the ultimate geek fantasy of driving to Area 51, the Black Mailbox, and the Little A’Le’Inn. Maybe they’ll meet one of Clive’s extraterrestrial dream girls, who looks kind of like an Orion slave girl, except with…something extra. They get more than they bargained for one night when they finally encounter a living, breathing alien: Paul (voiced by Seth Rogan). Paul is not quite what either of them expected. Like any creature that was able to cross multiple galaxies, he’s intelligent, but he’s also a laconic, dry, funny little dude, partial to weed, junk food and our music. Paul needs to get home, and he begs these two nerds to help him escape.
Despite the fact that the writers felt like they had to slow things down with some lazy and hackneyed clichés of lunatic Christians (trust me, ninety percent of us think the Earth is zillions of years old just like the atheists; the horse is dead and you guys need some new material), I got a kick out of the movie. The shots of Comic-Con were hilarious, the dialogue (especially Paul’s) was funny, and there was a thing or two that I didn’t see coming, which is unique in this day and age because so much of it has been done before. I loved how the character of Paul was introduced, and Mr. Shukti and I both laughed at it. Lots of nice pop culture and movie jokes throughout too. I watch a lot of sci-fi and I’ve heard many quotable lines from various intergalactic creatures, but I’ve never heard one scream what Paul yells in the comic shop.
Three chocolate morsels.