“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” Review

Ignoring what we know now of the franchise, I should love a movie with a title like Paul Blart: Mall Cop. That movie sounds like a parody of Die Hard or a generic police protocol film. It would take itself super seriously and be absolutely absurd and end up being a cult classic. Let’s be real, the premise of Paul Blart: Mall Cop is really stupid. There’s only two solid ways to play a film like this: 1. The 21 Jump Street route of being super self-aware, or 2. The route of taking yourself super seriously and having a lot of fun. The Paul Blart: Mall Cop franchise opts to do neither of these things, and instead devotes itself to making jokes about segways and obesity. With no creative humor, the film is forced to rely on the charisma of the main character, and yet still the filmmakers manage to screw that up by making Paul Blart (Kevin James) an unlikeable jerk that you don’t want to root for. Yet as an audience member you are told that you should be cheering for Blart, causing frustration because you don’t really want him to be successful. There is constant winking at the camera, which is completely undeserved because the filmmakers don’t fully understand what their movie is.

Six years after the original Paul Blart: Mall Cop, we have Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. After the events of the first film, Blart’s wife leaves him within the first week of their marriage. Not long after, Blart’s Mom is killed by a milk truck. Blart is feeling down, until he is invited to the security officers convention in Las Vegas. While in Vegas, a group of live-action cartoon villains plan a non-specific heist, and for Blart, duty calls.

To be totally clear, despite popular belief, this is not the worst movie of all time. For a few moments, it’s actually somewhat funny. Its main crime is that it’s just lazy. The film’s budget is $30 million, yet it feels like it was made for well under 5. The other reason that Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is easy to hate on is because it made $24 million on its opening weekend. This movie feels like it should have been released straight-to-DVD, and since it made a lot of money at the box office, people are extra resentful.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 isn’t good, but there are plenty of movies out there that are much, much worse. The movie is just forgetful. The film starts, things happen, and then it ends. While a majority of the jokes fall flat, the film isn’t aggressively bad, it’s just bad. None of the actors really try, but they look like they’re having a good time in Vegas, at least. By the time that the film ends, you’ve forgotten all of the important plot points (well, there are none), and are left with only one thing: Always bet on Blart.

In my opinion, the best way to enjoy a movie like this is to watch it with your friends as if it’s the greatest movie of all time. That’s how I experienced it, at least. The theatre that I was in broke out into spontaneous applause 4 times during the film. It’s not like watching a ‘So Bad It’s Good’ film though. For some reason it’s just strange and bad enough to be intriguing, but still put-together enough to seem real. The audience is the one putting forth the effort, instead of the film, but watched like this, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 can be very funny. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 isn’t in on the joke though. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is the joke. 3/10.

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