Mar 18 2009 by Ian Bunting, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
‘PAUL Blart: Mall Cop’ stars Kevin James as Blart, a security guard in a New Jersey shopping mall. He has tried for years to join the police force but suffers from hypoglycaemia, meaning he passes out when his body runs low on sugar.
When the mall comes under siege from a gang of criminals, Blart is trapped inside and becomes the hostages’ only hope. He has to balance this life or death situation with his love for kiosk owner Amy (Jayma Mays).
I wasn’t expecting much from ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop’ and I am sorry to say that there was no pleasant surprise on offer. This is a very average, and at times plain ridiculous, film.
Director Steve Carr’s resume reads like the most scary of horror stories (‘Daddy Day Care, ’Are We There Yet?’ and ‘Dr Dolittle 2’) and nothing here suggests he can turn his career around.
The cast has no big names. Lead man James is best known for his roles in ‘Hitch’ and the American TV show ‘The King of Queens.’ Sporting a dodgy moustache, he starts off likeable enough but quickly becomes annoying.
As the love interest, Mays (TV’s ‘Ugly Betty’ and ‘Heroes’) is endearing and charming but doesn’t do much. She is ‘just there’ and has zero character depth.
The film takes pot shots at the overweight, which is not funny and very cheap. The ‘nacho-eating contest’ is an especially pointless scene.
We get ‘treated’ to a fight between Blart and an overweight woman in a Victoria’s Secret shop, Blart playing sappy music in his bedroom and running amok in an amusement arcade. Each scene is less funny than the last.
The villains are a young gang of tattoo-clad ‘skaters’ who show impressive acrobatic skills but create no tension at all. It is strange, though, how Blart can take out all of these youths but gets easily beaten up by a female earlier.
Blart spends much of the film travelling around on a motorised scooter and this leads to a clever ‘twist’ on the ‘chase scene,’ involving this vehicle and a skateboard. You know you are in trouble, though, when this and an early scene involving a dog chasing Blart are the comedic highlights of the movie.
There is just so much wrong with ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop.’ ‘Silly funny’ can be laugh-filled (see ‘Anchorman’) but here it is just stupid and annoying.
Blart taking time out of a life-threatening siege to get Amy a birthday card, an insane ‘slo-mo beatdown’ of one of the thieves and the amount of times he dives through glass and escapes unscathed are particular low-lights.
‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop’ is definitely one to stay clear of. It aims for ‘comedy ‘Die Hard’’ but ends up dying on its feet.
Rating - 3 out of 10.
LAW MAN: Kevin James plays the titular character in ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop.’