Movie Review: Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Kevin James, Keir O’ Donnell, Jayma Mays) 2009

Posted: November 11, 2012 in Comedy

 

Paul Blart (James) has unsuccessfully tried to join the New Jersey State troopers.  Because of his hypoglycemia, he faints if he’s overexerted.  Unhappy, Blart has settled into a mundane life as a mall cop, living with his mother (Shirley Knight) and daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez), who he fathered from an overweight illegal alien who ran away shortly after receiving her citizenship.  Paul has a new trainee under his wing Veck Simms (O”Donnel) Veck doesn’t seem to care too much for the mall cop position, neither does anyone else.  But things might be looking up for Paul, he meets a girl named Amy (Mays)

who runs a hair extension kiosk in the mall.  Amy’s gets hit on by pen salesman Stuart (Stephen Rannazisi) who thinks he’s hot stuff, even though he has a dim future.  Paul would seem to have a good shot with Amy except that he gets drunk one night and acts like a total jerk.  He ties to apologize, but Amy’s clearly not interested.  Paul tries to drown sorrows in video games while he’s singing Kiss on Rockstar, the mall gets overrun by a gang of thieves led by none other than Veck himself who want

to use stolen credit card numbers from the mall to buy millions of dollars in merchandise on Amazon.com.  Paul initially calls the cops and wants to leave, but then he finds out that Amy is one of the hostages taken by Veck.  Does Paul save the day?  Does he win back Amy’s affections?

 

When I saw that this movie was produced by Happy Madison, Adam Sandler’s production company, my heart sank. Sandler has not been very funny in his own movies lately, and I feared that this movie would be more of the same, stupid, tasteless fat guy jokes and just tasteless jokes in general.  The first half hour of the movie was my worst nightmare realized, fat jokes, James wrestling a fat woman at Victoria’s Secret, tasteless anti-immigrant jokes, portraying James first wife as an unscrupulous citizenship chaser, and a drunken James acting like a boorish lout, and I thought, ‘Oh no, here we go again, more frat house stupidity from the house of Sandler.’ The storyline even took the shape of Happy Gilmore, mildly sympathetic everyman, with one romantic prospect, Amy, and one chief romantic rival Stuart, and a seemingly insurmountable task.  But then a funny thing happened, James natural likeability kicked in and he showed some scenes with genuine vulnerability, and voila his character won me over.  Nice supporting performances by Jayma Mays, who seems to be ready for stardom with her supporting role in the tv show Glee, she fills the perky cheery role, like Amy Adams and Isla Fisher nicely. Raini Rodriguez is also good as James’ daughter, they have a natural on-screen chemistry together.  It was also nice that the story used New Jersey as a backdrop, although I know the mall in West Orange New Jersey is not that big.

 

Paul Blart Mall Cop, a Mall wonder…I mean a small wonder that I liked it.

 

 

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