Just like nervous parents, we ready ourselves for the first effort of our two favourite kids as they step out on their own... will we be sticking their report card proudly on our collective fridge doors?
Of course we will. "Paul" is Pegg and Frost's first venture without director Edgar Wright involved (he who gave us "Scott Pilgrim VS The World) so to hold it up to the trio's previous works - "Shaun Of The Dead," "Hot Fuzz") is unfair and pointless. For many that may be hard to do, but it is a necessity if you are to enjoy it fully.
The boys have scripted what can be described as an above-average American comedy but with a decidedly English view on events. Which is no mean feat. Infact, the dialogue and it's delivery should put you in mind of their first collaboration rather than their last - TV's "Spaced." There, fave films were parodied, quoted and shamelessly put upon a pedestal, and here in "Paul" there is more of the same. However, the spotlight is firmly directed towards the works of Spielberg and Lucas this time round. From a background cinema playing "Duel" through to the funny explanation of how the idea for "E.T." came about, it's a nirvana for film geeks who know and can quote lines such as "smile you son-of-a-bitch" and "boring conversation anyway."
Pegg and Frost play ever-so-sweet and nice guys with their real-life friendship cementing the performance but therein lies the movie's only flaw. With only a brief moment of jealousy separating them, there's no friction or emotional journey for them to experience on their cross-country road trip.
What could have been the flaw of the film thankfully is one of the highlights - the titular Paul. Like Gollum and Yoda, Paul is a wonderfully crafted character that you forget is CGI after about being 2 minutes on screen. Of course the seamless graphics is helped along by the profanity-laden Seth Rogen who's laid back acting will guarantee smiles throughout.
Bateman and Wigg hold up their ends admirably in the Brit Flick along with Lynch in a small cameo but it all rests, and succeeds on the shoulders of Pegg, Frost and Rogen as the new Three Amigos. "Paul" - a close encounter you should take.
UK release date: 14/02/11