It’s like the makers of Fanboys and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back got together and had a more mature, British step-son who is just as geeky and gross, twice as nice and friendly, a shade or two more political, and less than half as scared of women.
I’m talking about Paul, the latest comedy brainchild from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead).
One of the reasons why it resonated with me so much was that, stripped down, Paul really just felt like a long love letter from Simon Pegg to the geek community. (Don’t believe he’s a card-carrying member? Find Pegg on twitter and read everything him and Nathan Fillion have ever tweeted at each other about spaceships. You’re welcome.)
But Paul will be infinitely more successful — box office wise and review-wise, I suspect — than the other comedies in this genre, such as the previously mentioned geekleetist “Fanboys” and cult-ish Kevin Smith flicks. Why? Because Paul, at its root, seems like it’s just Pegg and Frost making fun of themselves, and inviting the audience to laugh either with them or at them, depending on the relationship you have with geek culture.
This isn’t to say that Frost and Pegg didn’t give the “Yes! Comic Con DID make me EXACTLY that happy, too!!”-viewers plenty of obscure scifi nerd fodder to chew on throughout the movie. The movie was full of in-jokes distributed evenly across areas of fandom, which was actually surprising to me, considering Pegg’s recent invitation into the Star Trek movie canon gave him any and all excuses to go totally Trek crazy. But, happily, he didn’t leave those of us in the Lucas camp out of the fun — one of my favorite movie moments involved the characters walking into a bar and the Cantina Band song starting to play by a bluegrass band, an awesome Mos Eisley nod that went over the heads of all but a handful of reviewers in the theater.
Also, while I had my doubts, a CGI alien chain-smoker may have actually been the role Seth Rogan was born to play. Seriously.
Sure, Paul had its downfalls. *cough* Can people stop pretending to give Kirsten Wiig things to do (although of course having her say the word ‘poop’ is always hilarious), and actually give her things to do?! But, at the end of the day, when the token female character goes to Comic Con with our heroes and thus has to wear the token-girl-in-geek-buddy-flick Leia costume, this is the outfit they go with:
And I think we can all agree, there is pretty much nothing hotter than that.
(P.S. These are the droids you’re looking for…)