(PG) US, UK. Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen
Is genre-spoofing from the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost comedy dream team wearing thin? Not just yet, but if it was a cardigan – and let’s face it, this is cosy comedy – the elbows would be going. The pair follow up their smash send-ups Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz with an affectionate ribbing of sci-fi and get-the-alien-to-the-mothership movies. There are plenty of giggly gags, but also a hint of diminishing returns.
This is a US-UK comedy alliance, with Seth Rogen as the voice of Paul, a CGI alien on the run from the FBI who comes across like a Pixar character who smokes and tells rude jokes. Director Greg Mottola (Superbad) replaces Edgar Wright, with co-writers Pegg and Frost acting out their usual male-hetero-romance dynamic as nerds who get more than they bargain for when they run into Paul on a tour of UFO hotspots. By the end the trio has a Bible thumper, two rednecks and the FBI on their tail. There are plenty of jokes, sly humour and cracking one-liners, though some of the idiosyncratic fondness of the earlier films is lost.