Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Director: Steve Carr

Writers: Kevin James, Nick Bakay

Cast: Kevin James, Keir O'Donnell, Jayma Mays, Raini Rodriguez, Shirley Knight, Stephen Rannazzisi, Peter Gerety, Bobby Cannavale, Adam Ferrara, Jamal Mixon, Adhir Kalyan, Erick Avari, Gary Valentine, Allen Covert, Mike Vallely

Synopsis: When a shopping mall is taken over by a gang of organized crooks, it's up to a mild-mannered security guard to save the day.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some violence, mild crude and suggestive humor, and language

Note: In honor of "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" coming out this year, I decided to review the first one in addition to it. Enjoy.

oh my god!  Kevin James must've read the reviews for this movie.  Oh no!
oh my god! Kevin James must've read the reviews for this movie. Oh no!

Stevennix2001's Rating:

6 / 10

Pros:

- The jokes were humorous

- Kevin James was charming and funny

- Characters are likable for the most part

Cons:

- All the characters are cliché stereotypes

- Generic story that follows every single damn loser plot device in the book

- Heavily cliched and predictable

- Villains were idiots


Defending one mall at a time

"Paul Blart: Mall Cop" isn't going to impress anyone with it's stellar writing, or captivate anyone with it's acting performances. However, if you're aching for a comedy that's in ilk of something along the lines of "Home Alone", "Dumb and Dumber" and etc, then "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" might be right up your alley. It's a simple story revolving around a mall cop that lives a quiet simple life with his daughter and mother.

After his wife left him, he's been single ever since. Although he tries out for the police academy various times, he fails miserably due to his physical condition, so he's forced to work as a security guard for a local mall. Unlike most rent a cop security guards, Paul Blart tends to take his job very seriously, as he practically acts like a real cop. Sadly, he's sort of perceived as a joke to a lot of people because of his seriousness towards his job, but he seems to take some joy in it anyway.

He's often mocked about his physical appearance, but he tries not to let it bother him. But whenever he runs into his long time crush, Amy, he inevitably turns into a socially awkward dork that puts on a false facade of confidence to impress her. And if you've seen a million other films like this one before, then chances are you can probably predict exactly how their relationship will play out.

As for the rest of the plot, Paul inevitably finds himself pitted against a bunch of highly trained thieves, who try to rob the mall. Although the thieves are pretty stupid because they start shooting and telling people to leave the mall, so they can rob it just as it's about to close.. And to make matters more interesting, they weren't even wearing masks while doing that. Um...here's the problem that I have with that plan.

If the mall was closing down anyway, then why the hell couldn't you have waited until everyone was out the door? Would it have really killed these guys to wait until everyone left? Don't they know that any one of those people can call the cops afterwards? And wouldn't the fact that they're not wearing masks make it easy to identify them? Seriously, these guys would make the villains in the "Home Alone" and "Baby's Day Out" look like freaking geniuses by comparison.

And if you've seen a lot of stupid comedies before about the every man loser archetype that tries overcoming the odds against him, then I won't have to tell you how it ends. This movie is nothing if not insanely predictable.

Having said all that, what did you honestly expect? The trailers themselves sold "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" as being a generic stupid slapstick comedy about a rent a cop; hence what you see in the trailers is exactly what you're going to get in the movie. Unlike "Neighbors" that sold itself as a stupid raunchy comedy in it's trailers, while actually conveying a deep message about growing up and embracing responsibility, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is just a straight up dumb comedy that spells everything out for it's audience.

In a lot of ways, I can see why a lot of film critics bashed this movie because it's not a well written one. The plot is overly generic. Most of the characters are cliché stereotypes, and lack any kind of depth. However, if you're into low brow stupid comedies in ilk of something like the "Three Stooges" (the original shorts, and not that crappy remake), then chances are you might find some of the slapstick humor enjoyable. Just don't expect any kind of Oscar winning material out of it.

© 2015 Steven Escareno

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