My Name Is Paul (Movie) Review
Not so much?
“My name is Paul, and this is my story. My journey has just begun.” Paul is not a nice guy. As the golden boy of The New World Order organization, Paul considers it his personal mission to destroy all who oppose the government’s rule. This generally means the followers of The Way, which – although […]
“My name is Paul, and this is my story. My journey has just begun.”
Paul is not a nice guy. As the golden boy of The New World Order organization, Paul considers it his personal mission to destroy all who oppose the government’s rule. This generally means the followers of The Way, which – although it isn’t ever overtly said, follow the teachings of the Christian faith, though it means a life of persecution, imprisonment, and even death (likely at the hands of Paul).
My Name Is Paul is set in a time that seems fairly consistent with the present – there are computers, televisions, fancy weapons, sweet cars – but with a dystopian air to it. The followers of The Way hide in abandoned warehouses or freeze in outdoor holding pens, and the world generally seems to be a dark and scary place. And yet, those who follow The Way have a calmness and peace that those who chase them cannot understand. These enforcers, Paul included, wear somber black uniforms and chase down dissenters over rooftops and through alleys – only to shoot them in cold blood simply because they believe differently.
After one such encounter, Paul suffers a terrible accident and is literally blinded as a voice from above echoes his words of “If you know who I am, you know what I am capable of.” From that moment, Paul’s life in inexorably changed. As he tries to come to terms with who he was, and who he has become, the Supreme Leader of the New World Order is determined to find him – and he’ll do anything necessary to get him to return to his former ways.
My Name Is Paul is billed as an adaptation of the story of the apostle, set in the post apocalyptic setting that seems to be very popular right now for both films and television. From the wise-cracking scientist to the plucky single mom to the oppressive government, it fits the post apocalyptic mold quite well. As a telling of Paul’s story, well it depends on how you look at it. If you go into the movie with that in mind, though, you’ll spend the whole thing going, “Is that guy Jesus? He’s Jesus, right? But…Paul didn’t do *that*.” If you instead just look at the movie as its own story that follows the themes and idea of Paul’s journey, you’ll likely be able to more fully enjoy it.
The basic idea behind My Name is Paul is that you can have this guy who is literally a symbol of all that is bad in the world…and even he is worth saving. Even he is worth being forgiven and being loved – and by the very people he has hurt the most, no less. It’s a powerful message that does make its point quite clearly, though it does feel here and there as if things have been thrown in simply to fit the dystopian theme (there’s a running joke about Pez/vitamins that just doesn’t fit all that well).
Though it’s message may be one for all ages, My Name Is Paul is not appropriate for young children. In order to make the point that Paul is one bad dude, there are several scenes portraying people being shot. Although they are not graphic in what is shown, it doesn’t shy away from the point either. For those old enough to enjoy it, My Name Is Paul offers electrifying action, a little bit of humor, and a whole lot of powerful message.