Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Director: Andy Fickman

Writers: Nick Bakay, Kevin James

Cast: Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez, Eduardo Verástegui, Daniella Alonso, Neal McDonough. David Henrie , D.B. Woodside, Nicholas Turturro, Loni Love, Gary Valentine, Ana Gasteyer, Shelly Desai, Steffiana De La Cruz, Adhir Kalyan, Bob Clendenin, Shirley Knight

Synopsis: After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some violence

Stevennix2001's Rating:

6 / 10

Pros:

- Jokes were funny

- Characters are likable and well written

- Blart is actually given a different lesson to learn, and he grows a bit more as a character.

- Acting was decent

- Direction was good

Cons:

- Although Paul's personal story arc is changed for this one, it still feels like the same damn movie, with a slightly larger setting.

- A bit predictable and cliched, but it's enjoyable if you're into stupid physical type comedies.

More of the same old crap

In a lot of ways, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" reminds of another comedy in "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." Both happen to be sequels to films that were a giant commercial success at the box office that relied heavily on slapstick humor, and a fairly simple story arc. In the case of "Home Alone", it was a holiday film that revolved around a young boy, who felt neglected by his family, so he wishes that he could spend the holiday alone. And through a series of unlikely events, he somehow gets his wish. At first, it seems fun, but he starts to miss them over time. Burglars try to break into his house, and he fends them off in a rather comedic fashion. Everything turns out okay, and the boy learns the importance of family around the end.

Cue in "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York", and it's basically the same damn story. Same kid complains about hating his family, while feeling neglected by them again. He gets separated from them, and he's forced to fend off the same stupid burglars again in a comedic fashion, while utilizing slapstick humor. Learns the same damn valuable lesson about how much family means to him. Milk the franchise and repeat.

"Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" tends to follow the exact same formula to an extent. The first movie revolved around the concept of a lovable clumsy fat doofus rent a cop that dealt with some personal issues regarding his personal life, and feelings of self worth after being single for so long, while failing to qualify for the police department various times.

After a series of events, the mall he works at gets taken over by a bunch of thieves, and Paul is forced to take them out in rather comedic slapstick fashion. It wasn't exactly an "Oscar" caliber film to say the least, but it was decent for those yearning to watch a stupid comedy about a guy making an a** out of himself.

Enter "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.": Several years have passed since the events of the first movie, but he finds himself single again after his wife leaves him. And to make matters worse, his mother dies as well, so this plays heavily into the plot about Blart fearing that he'll be alone once his daughter grows up. But unknowingly to him, she's already been accepted to UCLA,, which would require her to leave home. Needless to say, this little dilemma gives Blart a new obstacle to overcome in his life.

Whereas the first movie, he had to deal with issues of confidence and self worth about his place in life. In this sequel, he's dealing with the concept of his daughter growing up, and realizing that just because life doesn't go exactly the way you planned, it doesn't mean that you have to give up on it. It's an interesting moral that we can all learn from, and it helps the film differentiate itself from it's predecessor.

Unlike "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York", the main character doesn't go through the same bulls*** story arc, as he learns the same damn lesson again. No, this time he's given a new arc to be explored, while showing the audience that he has taken the lessons he's learned from the first adventure to heart.

If you watch his interactions with his crush from the last film, you'll notice that Blart wasn't quite sure of himself around her. Almost as if he was putting on a facade of false confidence in order to woo her. In this new movie, that isn't the case because Paul is already confident in who he is. He's more sure of himself this time, and it shows when he interacts with a young Latina that he constantly thinks is hitting on him.

In fact, you could even say he becomes something of an arrogant son of a b****. as we can tell quickly that his heroic efforts from the last movie did go to his head a little bit. Now, that's not to say he's a different character in this story, as he's still the same lovable socially awkward doofus that we've come to know and love from the last movie. However, he's just a bit more confident this time around.

Sadly, this is where the positives end. Like "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" where it was the same damn story with a larger backdrop, you can probably say the same thing about the main plot for "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2." In the last movie, Blart was forced to fend off a bunch of highly trained criminals from robbing a mall, while rescuing his own daughter from mortal danger.

Here, it's the same damn formula with a larger backdrop. Instead of fending off criminals, in a mall, Paul is now forced to stop a bunch of highly trained criminals in a luxurious hotel casino. And like the last film, it's done in same stereotypical comedic slapstick fashion. It's the same damn formula being reused over again; along with the same various jokes.

However, like I said before, what makes this film different is that Paul Blart is actually given a new story arc to overcome this time, and he's not simply relearning the same damn lessons he learned from the last story. It makes his character arc feel much more fulfilling, and it makes him feel like more an actual character rather than a cliché stereotype.

Sure, the story is like "Dumb and Dumber To" in a sense that it does recycle a lot of the same jokes from it's prequel, but "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" doesn't rely on it. The majority of the humor is based on new jokes, as there's even a few James Bond esque type references that were funny, and the other mall cops that appear add their own style of humor that was absent from the original. Granted, it's still physical low brow comedy, but it's not a generic knock off of it's original counterpart.

Would I say that "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" is an Oscar caliber film? Hell no. That would be absurd. However, if you're one of these people that enjoyed the original "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" film, then chances are you'll probably love this one as well. It's good for a few cheap laughs on a Saturday night; especially if you have a chance to catch it on Netflix or whatever. However, I wouldn't advise rushing out to the theaters for this one.

© 2015 Steven Escareno

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