I have never seen Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Or Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I have no interest. But I did see the trailer, which was enough for me to write this review of the film …
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which opens this Friday in theaters nationwide, stars Kevin James as Paul Blart, a clueless mall security guard with an unrealistic sense of self. He reprises the role in played in the 2009 film, Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
This time around, Paul travels to Las Vegas, where he has to solve a crime involving a casino and gambling and stuff. Initially, he comes across as a bumbling doofus mall cop. There are lots of embarrassing moments, pratfalls, moronic statements. He’s rejected and dismissed by real police officers and investigators. People shake their heads in his presence, and laugh behind his back. Criminals don’t take him seriously. One hisses his way (in some half-baked Eastern European accent), “Go back to the mall where you belong.” Or something like that.
Then, roughly 3/4 through the film, Paul shocks the world (well, the cast) by solving the crime. Yes, he’s dumb. But he has his moments. Everyone comes to appreciate and admire Paul, especially those who doubted him. Then he returns to the mall, because he realizes that’s where he’s needed the most, and it’s home.
Everyone involved in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 knows the film sucks. James certainly doesn’t find the material funny, just as members of New Kids on the Block would secretly acknowledge Step By Step is bad music. The producers, directors, crew—all aware. But there are mouths to fill and bills to pay. Plus, 13-year-old boys aren’t in on the secret, and they’ll spend enough to make the movie a solid $40 mill.