Comic-Con is the apt milieu for the opening moments of this sci-fi movie mash-up that succeeds in tickling the inner geek of moviegoers weaned on the likes of Star Wars
and the Steven Spielberg canon. Much of the dialogue is drawn from the aforementioned genre touchstones plus many more, and the plot is essentially an E.T.
pastiche about an alien who has phoned home and now needs the help of strangers to catch its ride. Middling science-fiction writer Clive Gollings (Nick Frost) and his best bud Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) are Londoners who hopped the pond and rented an RV for a road trip along the Extraterrestrial Highway. Enter Paul, a wise-cracking, foul-mouthed, weed-smoking alien (voiced by Seth Rogen) who is the proverbial ugly American in this foray into Middle American zaniness. Although Pegg and Frost wrote this screenplay (directed by Superbad
's Greg Mottola), things don't feel quite right without Edgar Wright, their longtime partner-in-sublime (Shaun of the Dead
, Hot Fuzz