Saturday, February 14, 2009

441 - Paul Blart: Mall Cop review




“Paul Blart: Mall Cop” is a title with a movie attached to it. My vision of its inception involves a grass-filled private meeting room, the occupants including Kevin James and Adam Sandler, throwing out stupid ideas for their next surefire plague on cinema. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” one of them says, and a movie is born, for better or worse. They could make all sorts of films that way: “Stockholm McCloud: Celebrity Chiropractor.” “Tom Kaiser: Driver’s Ed. Instructor.” “James Frazier: Spectacularly Bored Freelance Film Critic.”

Paul Blart (Kevin James), if you haven’t guessed, is a mall security guard. His massive girth prevents him from becoming a New Jersey state police officer, so he settles for a job at the local megamall, chasing down shoplifters and belligerent customers on a Segway scooter. He has a crush on a hot kiosk girl (Jayma Mays) and raises a daughter (Raini Rodriguez) who is amazingly patient with her father’s personal shortcomings.

Fortunately for Blart, a group of armed robbers takes over his mall and holds all of the characters we’ve met thus far hostage, leaving him to single-handedly save the day. This is absurd, but less so when you consider the robbers, who have the gravitas of a tulip. Blart takes them out in predictably bumbling ways, such as falling on them and running into them with his Segway (this film plays a bit like a massive Segway ad). I’m thinking of a Hollywood advertisement: Wanted, Morbidly Obese Stuntman. Blart also makes use of the resources the mall has to offer, which I’m certain made him wish they’d put in a gun store.

The film does actually manage a few laughs. Unlike a lot of the other Happy Madison films (Adam Sandler’s movie company), this one isn’t obsessed with disgusting gags or intent on being cruel to the characters. Kevin James plays Blart as sweet and pleasant, not as a pure buffoon or object of ridicule. With this sort of film, it’s tempting to score it purely based on the title, but that’s why they actually make me see these things first.

2 out of 5

8 comments:

Clare said...

It wasn't his girth that cause his inability for the force. It was his blood sugar induced narcolepsy....it makes the difference because he WAS physically fit enough to make the force, as shown in the first little segment of the film....

Also, no mention of the Indian Lover Boyfriend? Come on, that part at least deserves to be mentioned since it made up 85% of the funny scenes....

James said...

Clare: You're right, though if I wanted to be one of those jerks who is capable of endlessly making excuses to arbitrarily cover even the most minute of mistakes, his massive weight could contribute to his blood problem.

I wrote this for the Courier, and since they cut my reviews down a lot, I simply decided to write a short one for once.

Blake Badker said...

are we human or are we dancer? what was sandler's last flick? it was depressed charlie finds his humanity back. paul blart doesn't kick ass but still survives, because humans don't kick ass. assholes do. i don't think this has been so pleasantly re-iterated since "encino man."

i like paul blart but they did waste my time with product placement and numbing gender plot devices. i would say 3.5 stars. but i was in a band that dressed up like cops and sang about cops being naughty. yeah we saw the sabotage video too.

mostly watched too much simpsons

Ryan Droste said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Droste said...

Saw this movie yesterday and pretty much agree with what you wrote. One part I found interesting is how when Blart would go into his low blood sugar moments (I guess he was just hypoglycemic and not diabetic) he would pass out. This is in stark contrast to what actually happens when a person experiences a low blood sugar. A low BSL in reality causes you to be more awake, if anything. It's actually almost impossible to even fall asleep when your blood sugar dips low. Low BSL causes one to AWAKE if it occurs while you are sleeping, even. A level below 80 is considered low, and the only way somebody could pass out would be for it to be in the sub 40 range. You'd at least become symptomatic before it got this low, as it takes a good amount of time for the levels to dip that low. So the all the sudden dropping flat on his face bit was a little ridiculous.

James said...

Blake: I get what the words mean, but I don't know what they signify in the manner you put them together.

Ryan: Something told me Paul Blart's disease was portrayed somewhat less than accurately. The other day I was thinking about all the movies that inaccurately portray all sorts of thing: disease, guns, police procedure, farming, physics, whatever. It occurred to me that it isn't that the filmmakers are naive, but that they just take dramatic license, sometimes with better effect than others.

Blake Badker said...

the words mean this:

"have you seen revenge of the nerds?"

seven samurai is pretty good too.

Joe said...

This movie reminded me of my childhood days.I think that kids between 8-15 will definitely love it.And for adults it will be a very good light-hearted time pass.Considering the movie's story and its effects i would rate it 7/10.