If you are a white male between the ages of 18 and 25 and in possession of an Xbox and a certain piece of recreational drug paraphernalia that your parents think is a piece of chemistry equipment, by all means, run right out and see this movie. For everybody else, it’s a pretty decent rental.
The concept is clever: an alien comedy. I mean we haven’t had one since Mars Attacks!, and I think I was the only person who saw that. Here we have Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost), two loveable nerds who cross the pond to attend Comic-Con and take an alien-themed tour of the western U.S.—Roswell, Area 51, etc. Right away the pair happens upon a car wreck, and when they go to investigate, they find Paul (Seth Rogan), an alien trying to return home E.T.-style, before the government starts experimenting on him.
And that’s it. We’ve got the boys with the alien in tow, a love interest in the form of the abused daughter of a religious zealot (Kristen Wiig), and the bad guys trying to get Paul back to the lab (Jason Bateman and Bill Hader). There are lots of references to other alien movies, all done with a wink and a smile, and Sigourney Weaver turns in a respectable cameo. I laughed out loud more than once, although be warned, this film earns its R rating. It’s not for young children.