Paul Blart: Mall Cop


Die hard with a beergut…

Kevin James’ transition from overweight blue-collar TV buffoon to overweight blue-collar Hollywood buffoon took very little preparation. Only a creepy mustache and a complete lack of self-awareness separate Paul Blart’s likeable shlub from Doug Heffernan, the amiable deliveryman James portrayed on sitcom King Of Queens for nine years.

The story is time-honoured, underdog-has-his-day stuff: Blart’s painfully earnest mall cop gives the often-humiliating job his all, despite constant ridicule from his fellow employees. His time to shine finally arrives on ‘Black Friday’, the infamously crazed post-Thanksgiving shopping day, when a gang of hightech criminals take over the mall, leaving Blart to thwart their plan.

Director Steve Carr (Daddy Day Care) treats his subject like a fleshly pinball, tossing him through every plate-glass window and down every flight of stairs, buffering the often lukewarm script with a non-stop cavalcade of wince-worthy physical gags.

Virtually every genuine laugh in Paul Blart involves James falling down. Otherwise, the humour is queasy and awkward, mostly stemming from everyone’s disdain for the kind-hearted fat man. The worst offender is Stephen Rannazzisi as pen salesman Stuart, whose steady flow of putdowns are so mean-spirited that they bypass funny completely and just seem cruel.

On the other hand, the inclusion of Jayma Mays as salesgirl Amy, was an inspired choice. Her full-moon eyes and generous smile lift the film out of its gutbucket slapstick. When Blart takes Amy on an impromptu Segway ride through the mall, her glee and his grin are so perfect, you almost think you’re watching Titanic on wheels.

Ken McIntyre

Film Details

User Reviews

    • edwardsnow

      Mar 11th 2009, 19:45


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    • avfc4eva

      Mar 18th 2009, 17:46


      Funniest parts are in the trailers.

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    • graham6

      Mar 19th 2009, 16:13


      Despite all the criticism, I found this quite funny. Yeah, it's predictable, but it's a kids film- what else do you expect? I can understand where everyone's coming from, but I thought it was pretty funny. Kevin James was likeable in the lead role. My only criticism would be the rubbish supporting roles and the lack of character development. But overall, it's a good watch.

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    • sanguinarius

      Mar 28th 2009, 23:01


      Don't do it

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      Apr 2nd 2009, 16:53


      My son and I both enjoyed it, I did cringe at some of the lines and the ending was poor but it did make us laugh especially the ring tome moments (and one kid in the cinema must have recorded the ring tone on his mobile and played it out-loud to humour the rest of us).

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    • JohnB

      Apr 6th 2009, 23:02

      Got to be the worst movie of the year so far. Unfunny, badly scripted, poorly acted. 2 minute comedy sketch turned into a full movie.

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    • lukedriver1995

      Apr 24th 2010, 15:09


      There isn't a great deal here, sure it geneally inoffensive and pretty harmless but it doesn't make you laugh or entertain you enough for this to work as a stupid family-comedy. On the postive side it can be sometimes amusing watching them spoof 'Die Hard' also does contain a few chuckle worthy moments with a decent performance from Kevin James. Overall it's not terrible, it doesn't reach the point of being 'Norbit' status of low-brow comedy, probably best watching it as a rental just to keep the little ones entertained.

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