It’s nice when a movie lives up to your expectations. No matter how low they might be.
“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” is the latest “Dear God Why?” sequel to hit theaters about the continuing adventures of a Mall security officer played by Kevin James. It follows the same basic plot as the first, with Blart unintentionally and haphazardly saving the day from some bad guys doing bad things, but this time it’s in Vegas. The sequel is also a generous whetstone for critics across the country upon which to sharpen their venomous blades of wit. Speaking of which I had an interesting conversation about this movie with someone recently that ended with this request. “I understand you have to be honest about your thoughts, but please don’t make me feel stupid for liking it”
Honestly that kind of stopped me in my tracks. Cause I don’t want anyone to feel stupid for enjoying a piece of entertainment just because I see it with different eyes. But when I movie is really bad, and this one is, I also want to make sure I can point out why I think so, in as clear and entertaining a way as possible. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, I mean, it’s not a math equation, it’s subjective. My job isn’t to tell you you shouldn’t like it, but rather to tell you why I didn’t, while at the same time giving you the information you need to make your own decision. So let me shed some light on why the critics, including me, are tearing it apart and feasting on it like someone threw the thanksgiving turkey into the wolf den.
First, it’s derivative, no interesting plot changes, and no story movements that feel different than anything we’ve seen before. This is especially obvious when it’s a sequel that pretty much feels like they took the first movie and just shot it in a new location. Second, its predictable. There isn’t a plot development or joke that you don’t see coming a mile away. Third, it’s a technical mess, everything from the writing to the shot selection feels bland, uninventive, and often slipshod. And finally, it’s just not funny. In fact, the “watch the fat guy fall down” style of humor is starting to really just feel mean and culturally regressive. It also seems to short circuit the one thing the movie might have going for it, it’s emotional heartbeat. It wants to tell this story about a father letting go of his daughter, but none of it works because none of it feels remotely genuine. Especially when you spend the first 60 seconds of this movie dismantling every bit of the emotion you wanted us to buy into in the first Blart film. You’ve made it clear this is a movie about fat jokes and pratfalls at its heart, and that’s just not a heart that connects to me at all.
Overall, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 is a sloppy sequel with nothing new or interesting to say. If you liked the first you might find a few chuckles, but for me there is nothing here that will allow it to segway to anything more than an F.