Review – Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Review
(Columbia Pictures)

I went in to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 only vaguely remember watching the first one on Blu-Ray in 2010 during some downtime when I was sick. I turns out it really doesn’t matter that I didn’t remember much beyond “Kevin James is an inept rent-a-cop” because the movie seems to go out of its way to both recycle gags from the first film, while simultaneously trying to ignore what transpired in that film’s plot.

“Spoiler alert” but the first Paul Blart movie ends with Blart saving the day and getting married. In this completely unnecessary sequel, they essentially retcon the marriage by having Blart’s new wife leave him eight days after the end of the previous film. They also repeat a gag several times in the film where no characters in Blart 2 seem to really care about the events of the first film, except Paul.

The premise of the film is that Paul Blart receives an invention to go to Las Vegas for a security guard convention. Paul and his daughter Maya head to Vegas where they check into the Wynn resort (product placement – including a Steve Wynn cameo towards the end of the film). It turns out that the very same night Paul Blart is in town, the villains, led by Neal McDonough, are planning to execute a heist to steal all of the valuable art from the resort.

Of course, it’s a Paul Blart film, so hijinks ensue, Kevin James rides a Segway, falls down a lot, and blunders his way to success.

I felt bad for Neal McDonough, as he does a serviceable job as an action-comedy villain, but all his appearance did was make me think of his run as Robert Quarles on Justified. When your lead villain makes you pine for something else that the actor did that was significantly better, it is never a good sign.

It wasn’t until the film was over that I realized I watched something that was rated PG. That confused me as throughout the film I was trying to figure out exactly who this movie was made for. You’d think with a PG rating it was marketed towards kids, but a trip to a convention in Las Vegas and thwarting an art heist don’t seem like plot points that would interest most kids. I then figured maybe it was made to appeal to teens, as the B-plot of the film is Blart’s daughter learning she was accepted into UCLA for college and deals with Paul losing his daughter because she is growing up. However, I don’t think many teens would like this film either, beyond an ironic viewing perhaps – as it the comedy gags are quite juvenile.

The movie isn’t terribly made. Believe me, I’ve seen far worse films that weren’t as well madeĀ as Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. But, it’s not even something I’d call “fair”. It just exists.

I suppose this film was made for fans of Kevin James, since that is the only condition I could see recommending this film to someone. If you’re a Kevin James completist, then by all means, watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.