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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Review: PAUL BLART: MALL COP


In theory, I love it.

It's Die Hard, except a comedy. And not nearly as badass.

And it sucks.



It's too bad this movie is not funny. It's something I would really love to love. Paul Blart: Mall Cop, despite a valliant effort by Kevin James, is nothing but a poorly acted, uncreative, and all-together forgettable film.

Paul Blart (Kevin James) is a big, fat security guard at a huge mall in New Jersey. Everyone tends to write him off, because he is so fat, and he occasionally crashes into the minivan on display in the middle of the mall. Everyone except the new employee working at the wig kiosk, Amy (Jayma Mays).

The one thing this movie succeeds in is making the fact that a young, attractive girl like Amy could fall in love with Paul very believable. While in most movies, it would just be "movie magic", here Kevin James is just so damn charming that you can believe it. And he's a big guy. It looks to me that he even gained weight for this movie.

One day, while Paul is busy rocking out on Rock Band with the volume turned way up in the video game store (Helloooooo, plot device), the entire mall - yes, the entire mall - is taken over by a bunch of young hooligans who all talk like the characters on Rocket Power.

And just like Die Hard, it's up to Paul to save the day, and take out all of the men, without being caught or killed by the man in charge.

I say poorly acted, though I don't mean it in the traditional sense. Maybe "wrongly acted" would be a better phrase. Kevin James is fine. He's very charming, and he pulls off almost all of his jokes, despite how poor they actually are. However, I never want to see Mays again cast as the token love interest. Having seen her in other films, I know that she is at heart, a comedian. It would be disappointing to see her in this lifeless role, despite how much she tried to breathe life into it. The same goes for Keir O'Donnell. I know he's a comedian, and a great character actor, so this was a role I don't want to see him play ever again.

I guess the direction is ok. It's shot very well, and it spoofs the whole action genre with simplicity. The music also is nothing to love, but at moments it wormed its way into my head.

If this movie did not have Kevin James giving it all he had, I may have left the theater. There's no real emotion, there's no big laughs, and there's nothing clever. If you're gonna make a movie with such a fun premise, wouldn't it be a good idea to, oh, I don't know, have some fun with it? Ironic that the film was co-written by James. He should stick to acting.

I've yet to see a Happy Madison movie without Adam Sandler that I have liked.

I think maybe I'll just stop seeing them.

2 stars

3 comments:

Patrick Lundberg said...

I'm glad that you reviewed this because I was going to go see it today. I didn't for multiple reasons but now I don't have to at all.

And as for the Happy Madison quote, I will step out into traffic and throw down that The House Bunny was decently good. Don't get me wrong, its a terrible movie filled with cliche messages and plot construction that my little sister could have engineered. But there are moments that are very funny and Emma Stone is great. Sorry for being such a traitor to good taste haha.

Wilder Shaw said...

No, no, you are right. I forgot about The House Bunny.

Definitely a decent movie with a good message in the end.

Wilder Shaw said...

Also, Strange Wilderness gets an honorable mention for not being a giant piece of trash, like I thought it would be. It still sucks, but it's not as bad as this.

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