Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Forget Star Wars and AvengersThis is the sequel we’ve been waiting for. Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez and Neal McDonough star in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2Cast of Characters:
Paul Blart – Kevin James
Maya Blart – Raini Rodriguez
Vincent – Neal McDonough
Divina Martinez – Daniella Alonso
Lane – David Henrie
Saul Gundermutt – Gary Valentine
Donna Ericone – Loni Love
Robinson – D. B. Woodside
Margaret Blart – Shirley Knight

Director – Andy Fickman
Screenplay – Kevin James & Nick Bakay
Producer – Adam Sandler, Kevin James & Todd Garner
Rated PG for some violence

After six years of keeping his local mall safe, security guard Paul Blart (Kevin James) is getting a much-needed vacation in Las Vegas where he’ll be attending the Security Officers Association trade show.

Meanwhile, a team of thieves, led by Vincent (Neal McDonough), have infiltrated the very hotel Blart and his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) are staying at with their sights set on stealing the casino’s priceless artworks.

Enter everyone’s favorite mall cop hero, who inadvertently ends up taking on the bad guys.

While also falling down, tripping, and running into objects ’cause that’s funny.

I know what you’re thinking. Did we really need a sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop? If your film gets made for only $26 million and earns back nearly $200 million at the box office, I guess the answer is yes. Of course, it’s more than fair to say that if I was running Columbia Pictures, and a film like this makes that kind of stupid money, we’d be at Paul Blart: Mall Cop 24 by now. So no matter how many fervent cries and pleas of no, angry letters, sexual favors and (or) death threats we send and offer the studio in hopes that they nix this project, it’s coming anyway, and it’s not exactly rocket science understanding why.

Doesn’t mean the film’s guaranteed to be good or anything, but whatever, as The O’Jays once said, “Money money money money… Money!!!!”

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 makes me think of a scene that occurs in Unfriended where one of the characters shoots himself in the face and dies.

Does that have anything to do with this film? Absolutely not. I just wanted to point out that I normally am not one to get envious of others, but with that character’s ill-fated situation, I most certainly was.

I’ve mentioned on here before that I don’t typically throw the term “cash grab” around liberally. However, this film is nothing more than a cash grab. The first film for some reason God himself can’t even figure out made nearly $200 million, so the natural thing to do is just repeat the same formula once again: Paul Blart falls down, trips, runs into objects, and then ends up having to take out the bad guys (here it’s a half-assed heist plot to pad out the moments Kevin James isn’t falling on his ass, featuring go-to mediocre film villain Neal McDonough). This time, though, it’s not in a mall, but at Las Vegas, which in order to tone down Sin City’s image for the kiddies is treated like a mall anyway.

And look, if the formula worked the first time, maybe, provided a gun was held to my head, I could understand repeating it. But it really wasn’t funny the first time (although, unlike this film, I at least had a couple good laughs here and there), and this time around it’s just punishingly dull. The lack of effort is so appallingly noticeable, I’m not even sure if what happens here can actually be constituted as jokes. I guess when in doubt during the screenwriting process, just punch an old person in the gut.

Yep. Writers Kevin James and Nick Bakay, both proven comic talents, had six years to come up with something and this is the best they could do.

Six years.

It’s a shame ’cause James has talent and we’ve seen him play charmingly clumsy to great effect before in his TV series King of Queens, and he was also the best thing about the just slightly above average Hitch. It’s shocking how such a likeable presence could be so annoying here, and it’ll only take the recurring joke involving James obnoxiously accusing Daniella Alonso of always hitting on him for you to get the full effect of just how annoying. It wasn’t funny the first time, or the second time and the only rational reason I can think of that the character finally falls in love with him is ’cause he pushed her to the point of breaking her psychological will.

Sorta like us viewers as we finally give in and laugh. Not ’cause the film is funny, but ’cause the mind-numbing experience actually ’causes our mental stability to snap as we all break out into maddening, Joker-like, laughing insanity.

Some will tell me I should’ve treated this as nothing more than a silly kids film, but even for silly kids film standards this film blows. Recently, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and last fall’s Penguins of Madagascar were both good examples of films catered strictly to younger audiences (with a few pop-culture references for the adults) that were enjoyable. There came a point during this film, and it was probably around the 30 minute or so mark when I was looking up at the sky and begging God to forgive me for whatever sin I was currently paying the price dearly for, where my ears noticed a flaw in those “It’s just a silly film for kids” argument. It usually helps that particular argument if the kids are actually laughing – or, hell even a snicker would be enough.

That’s right. No laughs, but I believe I heard a couple exasperated sighs from some parents as they debated in their minds just how severe of a punishment they’d be laying on their little bastard kids for subjecting them through this torture and not even giving them the satisfaction of seeing their own ungrateful children at least enjoying this.

Wait. No, I also heard more than a few gasps when Paul Blart’s mom, played by two-time Oscar nominee Shirley Knight, was run over by a truck at the beginning of the film.

After reading the script, Knight probably begged them to make it the real deal, just to make sure there’s no possible way she’d be asked back for Mall Cop 3, but liability issues probably got in the way.

I shouldn’t have to say that it’s not like I was expecting one of the greatest sequels ever made, especially a sequel that comes out of the Happy Madison assembly line. But I also wasn’t expecting such a soul-sucking, energy-draining experience it makes Grown Ups 2 look like The Godfather Part II.

As entertaining as experiencing a black market vasectomy, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is not just a bad sequel, it’s Caddyshack 2 bad. Go ahead and watch the film if you dare to realize that’s not as bold of a statement as you might think it is. It’s rather shameful that this lazy film puts forth as much effort as it does a purpose for existing; it’s even more shameful for me to admit that I somehow laughed more during Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Then again, even laughing at all would’ve provided such sweet relief.

I give Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 an F (0 stars).

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