Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 – 1 out of 5
Whenever a sequel is made to a film that is considered universally hated or is just a film that is mocked heavily, people often make a mad dash to their computers and angrily smash their keyboards and proclaim the film will fail or why it was even made in the first place or point out that no one is lobbying for this sequel to begin with. While I won’t ever outright advocate for something to fail—that’s just a mean-spirited thing to do and kinda petty—I do sometimes wonder why some sequels get produced. I understand if the first one made a lot of money but even on films that don’t do well or discernibly well enough to warrant the money to make a sequel I find myself like the commenters and wondering who exactly Green Lit this thing. In reality, no sequels or films of any kind are actually warranted and existence would go on fine without them (although, I’d lose my most beloved hobby) and I always keep that in mind when a film gets made (it keeps me from having irrational angry towards a product that I don’t actually have to buy) but even I was wondering, “Why the heck did they make Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2?”
|Wow! I had the same uncomfortable and completely unconvincing smile when|
I first started this movie, too!
A lot has happened to Paul (Kevin James) since the first film. His love interest left him after a week of marriage and his mother (Shirley Knight) died after being hit by a milk truck. He’s feeling alone and only has his job as a mall security guard and his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) left. Unfortunately, Maya got an acceptance letter to UCLA and she’s scared to tell him because she doesn’t want him to think he’s losing her too. Meanwhile, Paul and Maya head off to Las Vegas to attend a security guard conference. Little do they know that, at the same time, a criminal named Vincent Sofel (Neal McDonough), is hatching a scheme to rob the hotel and casino of its valuable art collection. Who do you think is going to be the underdog to rise up and save the day? Seriously, who? I’m asking you a question, damn it!
|So, Segways are still a thing?|
Confession Time: I don’t actually hate the first film. I will admit that a majority of it is pretty dumb but there were points that I laughed at it. I never thought it was good enough to see another adventure with the chubby mall cop but, for one reason or another, Sony thought it was a good idea to let Kevin James co-write and star in another go around and the final product is just another sad nail into the coffin of James’ once promising career. I used to be a big fan of the guy because I loved The King of Queens and his stand up was so funny but in the last ten years or so he’s been going straight down and succumbing to the last common denominator that comes after scrapping the bottom of the barrel with his comedy. He’s become a one joke gag and that is Fatty Falls Down. And that is all this movie is: Fatty falling down.
Comedy is subjective and what I find funny others might find stupid and vice versa but I’m having a hard time even labeling this film a comedy because the jokes are too weak to even be considered as such. The first half hour is Kevin James mugging to the camera like he’s trying to make any infants watching giggle and the last hour is him falling while mugging…and a fair share of fat jokes are thrown in along the way. To make matters even worse, every scene is capped awkwardly with one of these bad jokes as if Kevin James and his writing partner had no clue on how to move the film along from scene to scene. It makes for a very awkward and clunky film.
|Oh look...he's being attacked by a bird in a scene that goes way, way, WAY|
too long. That's funny, right? Ha...ha...ha.
|Is it normal to want to punch my computer screen|
when I look at this?
Almost everything about this film comes off sloppy as even the story is a mess. It was expected that the film was going to be a rehash of the first film where it has the clumsy underdog Blart stopping some sort of crime but this art heist is lazily thrown together and is poorly developed as the film goes by. The emphasis wasn’t about establishing a crime for Blart to rise up and stop during the final act of the film but rather it was getting in every fat joke this awful script could and the conflict was barely registered on the back burner. The story even teases that the conflict would also see a “Who is better?” arrangement between the mall cops and the more highly skilled and trained hotel security. It’s teased early on but never comes into fruition and is actually altered rather quickly into the head of security hating on Blart because his girlfriend, the hotel manager, is smitten with Blart—and it is Blart that exposes these feelings in her because she is adamant that she doesn’t care for him. I’ll be honest; a beef between the better security and the rent-a-cops would have been far more effective route but James wrote the film so it’s clear he wanted the hot hotel manager to fall in love with him so vanity took reign over decent storytelling.
|So, giving Neal McDonough heterochromia of the eyes was the production's|
way of trying to make it look like the characters are richly developed?
|Smile, girl. You were the only good thing in the film!|
The only real saving grace this film had was in the character of Maya. Maya’s internal conflict over her decision to leave for school and her idea that she is growing up and doesn’t need her overprotective father telling her what to do was actually decent to watch and proved to be the most interesting character arc in the film—actually, it was the ONLY character arc in the film. Matters are only helped by the fact that Raini Rodriguez seems to be the only competent actor in the film and her performance is fantastic. Additionally, her story is assisted further by the addition of a love interest with a hotel employee played by David Henrie formerly of Wizards of Waverly Place. When I was forced to watch that show with my nieces and nephew years ago, I always said Henrie was a very talented actor and it saddens me that his career hasn't taken off and has to be in a Paul Blart sequel. Anyway, this aspect proved to be the only thing I could get into in this film because the rest of it was just grating, boring and even embarrassing to sit through.
|Seriously, this kid is talented and needs to be in better products.|
Paul Blart: Mall Cop2 is the very embodiment of a lazy comedy. Jokes are haphazardly written and then wildly thrown into the plot. Only once did I mildly chuckle at a single joke but that one was actually relevant to the sequence of events taking place. Every other joke in this poorly arranged story has no relevance to the scene it is in and is basically, like I said, just some fat dude falling down. It makes me wonder if there was actual even a script and not just a note that says “Paul Blart stops art thieves in Las Vegas” and the rest of it was made up on the spot when the director called “Action.” The worst part of all of this: There will probably be a third one whether we like it or not.
|He represents the viewer in what is possibly the only real metaphor in the film.|