The worst part about it is that the jokes are not very funny. I can over look the pandering and the rote obviousness of the script and the two dimensional characters if the jokes are funny. But they are not funny and so I was stuck with more time than I expected to ponder everything else. Why was Kristen Wiig so stiff and charmless? Who made the decision regarding Simon Pegg’s terrible hair style? Why did Joe Lo Truglio get all the good lines in a movie that features Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, (the voice of) Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman and Bill Hader? Well, that didn’t surprise me since Truglio tends to be fire in his brief cameos. Jane Lynch has about five minutes of screen time and she steals the movie right out from under the leads. Now that was an interesting character. Ebert was right when he said that Rogen’s titular Paul is too ordinary and bland. None of his pronouncements were that exciting or interesting and thus he ends up rather boring. An alien who smokes weed? You crazy for that one, Pegg/Frost. Paul is one of those films where you stay for the credits to make sure that yes really the same guys who wrote Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz wrote this. Those films packed in the fanboy references and yet still managed be involving yarns that cracked me up and made me care about the characters. Paul has no surprises, the characters are too thin and facile to care about and jeez the gay panic in this film. The last two Guy Ritchie movies were more thoughtful about gays. Guy Ritchie! Since Pegg/Frost have handled the dude love aspect so well in their previous work I’m puzzled as to why Paul has so many scenes of characters screaming “I’m not gay!” over and over again. Paul is the sad, watered down Americanization of the Pegg/Frost style. Wit has been supplanted by breathless pandering. Slight visual gags replaced with full on lifts from other films and in case you didn’t catch it Paul will bludgeon you with the reference. Blythe Danner punching Sigourney Weaver in the face and quoting Aliens might be one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. And don’t even get me started on the narcissism of the denouement as Pegg and Frost give themselves their own standing ovation for the film we just watched. So even though they spent the whole film pandering to their audience they still prefer to suck their own dicks.