|Directed by:||Greg Mottola|
|Written by:||Simon Pegg, Nick Frost|
|Cast:||Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Sigourney Weaver, Jane Lynch, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Jeffrey Tambor, Blythe Danner, David Koechner, Seth Rogen|
The first time that I watched this movie was on the plane on my way back home after Comic Con 2011. I obviously related even moreso to many of the film’s geeky elements (the film literally starts off at the San Diego Comic Con) because I had just returned from our 11th year at the “geekfest of all geekfests” and could still smell the beer/sweat/nerd all over me. I was pulled into its storyline because of my ability to relate very closely to the film’s two lead characters, played with their well-known chemistry by the always entertaining Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (who also co-wrote the film’s screenplay), but also because I could genuinely relate to their plight, which was all about checking into outerspace-related that still exist on Earth. Of course, the film doesn’t really “kick in” until the lead alien character of Paul makes his 1st appearance about 10 minutes into the movie, and I for one, dug him a whole lot as well. Admittedly, Seth Rogen’s voice threw me off at first, but within a few minutes, I had completely forgotten about his voice and believed him as a full-blown character, which is pretty hard to do for something that was created entirely on a computer hard drive.
Props to all the great people involved in making Paul the full-rounded character that he was, including all the computer graphics guys and girls, but also the screenwriters of the movie, who set him up as a foul-mouthed pot-smoking, beer-guzzling smart-aleck (who reminded me a lot of Roger the Alien from TV’s “American Dad”) but also made sure to inject him with some much needed human characteristics as well. The film also lives and dies with many of its secondary characters and pretty much all of them hit it out of the ballpark including the straight man played by Jason Bateman, the two bumbling FBI agents interpreted by underrated Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio, the always adorable and funny Kristen Wiig, who provides the film with an interesting Christian female perspective (but a funny one, of course), as well as many others including Sigourney Weaver, David Koechner, the always-awesome Jane Lynch and Blythe Danner. Danner’s character actually provides the film with its much-needed Judd Apatow-esque “heart within the comedy” elements, and I personally wouldn’t have minded spending another hour or so with all of these characters. Having said all that, the film doesn’t exactly hit you over the head with its comedy, and for me, played more like a “cool geek movie” with comedic characters and elements. If you’re going into this film expecting to laugh your head off, I believe you’ll be somewhat disappointed, but if you dig the two leads, enjoy alien conspiracies and sci-fi shit, enjoy finding “in jokes” throughout this geekfastic movie and just wanna chill out with a beer/doobie and watch a fun little movie for a buck and a half worth of your time…this flick should definitely do the trick.
I don’t think this movie is made for everyone though, as much of my amusement came via its nerdistic qualities and sci-fi fun (I loved all the Steven Spielberg references throughout, especially the voice cameo from “the beard” himself), but if you’re a follower of JoBlo.com, I believe there are enough geeky elements in this movie, along with some awesome chemistry between all the characters, including the loveable green little man in the middle, to satisfy your basic thirst for entertainment. I’ve actually watched this movie 3 times already (once was the unrated version and the other was with commentary track, which was nice because they point out some more “in-jokes” you might’ve missed) and still enjoyed it all three times, so here’s hoping that your experience turns out to be as satisfying as mine.