Before valentine’s day, we were all supposed be ordering roses and chocolates, booking restaurants and planning grand romantic gestures to make our lovers swoon and our mates throw up. Instead, we were all engrossed in the Simon Pegg season. Film 4 were showing all of Pegg’s classics to get us salivating, nay, foaming at the mouth for the next Pegg/ Frost epic – Paul.
That pink and rosy day passed. Romantic disasters came and went and the next evening we dared to go and watch the film. Actually, the cinemas were booked out almost all week, so it was more like the week after. With all the hype, the girlfriend out-of-the-way, this stereotype alien held all of your concentration…
This film is an offering to the sci-fi god himself, even quoting his holy saga on numerous occasions. There is a twist that suggests our loveable drug overlord character (voiced by Seth Rogan) actually influenced popular culture and science fiction. The reason he looks like every other alien is because he wanted to look like every other alien. Cool concept, I’m not sure that our lord Lucas saw it coming, even though he was quoted in the film and shown as an unimaginative 80’s man.
So the film does actually has a sense of realism about it. It feels more like Pineapple Express than E.T (cheers again Seth). It’s the one of the most believable plot lines of science fiction film because it toys with ideas we’ve already seen and converts it into obvious fact.
At the same time, you can relish in understanding what Pegg and Frost have done. They take the michael out character stereotypes. In Hot Fuzz it was the ‘scarily close to truth’ reflection of country dwellers, in Shaun of the Dead it was a strange zombie culture surrounding a plot where a man tries to show he’s not a looser. A little long-winded, but the fact is that the Pegg and Frost combo have this time finally gone for the jugular… Americans.
People love to perceive Americans as stupid. Watch this youtube clip.
Without giving too much away, the film actually works on a level that undermines stereotypes. It’s something a little more substantial than a spoof about aliens as it challenges huge debates about religion and more importantly the ‘what would you do’ dilemma, more specifically, what would you do if you were first contact?