Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews
- Category: Jacqueline Monahan
- Published on 21 March 2011
- Written by Jacqueline Monahan
Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for Lasvegasroundtheclock.com
For a stereotype, this life form is pretty hip. He knows our slang and spews profanity. He’s a wise-guy and he just happens to be a little green man from another galaxy.
You know the type. You and everyone else on the planet have been conditioned for more than six decades to know what a space alien looks like. Large round head and eyes, spindly neck and small compact body. That was no accident, that was careful indoctrination. Turns out, Paul (Seth Rogen, voice) was the consultant.
Clive and Graeme are Brits on holiday in America, visiting San Diego’s Comic-Con in all of its science filction/film/comic book frenzy. A rented RV transports them on a UFO-themed road trip where they promptly meet two rednecks who immediately pursue them. Meanwhile Paul is being pursued by no less than three dark suits (Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, and Joe Lo Truglio) and a female head honcho (Sigourney Weaver) known as The Big Guy for most of the film.
Paul is also an empath meaning that if he heals someone he momentarily takes on their affliction, weakening him. Think they’re going to imbue Paul with this type of power and not use it at least three different times with varying results? I’ll say no more.
The trio of fugitives bands together and each helps the other out in a variety of situations. They acquire a visually impaired Christian girl named Ruth (Kristin Wiig) along the way; she acquires the knowledge of the entire universe courtesy of her new large-headed friend. Paul can become invisible by holding his breath which comes in handy on numerous occasions.
As you would expect, the road trip changes everyone, there are confrontations, a few surprises and multiple discoveries. The rednecks cry and the black suits get gun happy. All of that takes backseat to the witty dialogue and interaction of the principals. The journey is even more enjoyable than its destination with Paul along for the ride.
Blythe Danner has a small role that explains a lot of pivotal information about Paul, including how he got his name.
Seth Rogen excels at this type of green (much better than the hornet kind). The cynical, laid back Paul has a wicked sense of humor and is a lousy driver, but then again, he hits the weed pretty hard.
The Pegg/Frost team is endlessly entertaining simply as over-polite, fanboy Brits, giddy with UFO adventure. Kristin Wiig is naturally funny, adapting to any environment with a guileless comedic flourish that serves her well.
Jason Bateman plays the heavy with assured ferocity, proving that he’s an actor of skilled utility. SNL boys Hader and Lo Truglio handle the absurd with a straight man aplomb that makes it all the more hilarious. Blythe Danner and Sigourney Weaver are testaments to vintage beauty despite wildly varying roles, both lending credence and cinematic credentials to the production.
Director Greg Mottola (Adventureland) combines a stellar cast, clever script and unanticipated sidelines to augment his little likeable space invader’s adventures. Of course there are plenty of nods to iconic films of the past like Star Wars, Aliens, E.T., and Close Encounters. If looking, you will find many more references; a drinking game built around this will have you face down in no time.
Paul would be the first one to appreciate that.