Saturday, April 18, 2015 1:36 pm ·  0 Comments
The viewers of an early Friday screening of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 knew exactly what to expect: an abhorrent 94-minute sequel to Kevin James’ 2009 film. A tirade of Happy Madison previews dissolve any hope for said viewers, moments before their sunny afternoon is wasted, as a trailer for Pixels, a bizarre upcoming Adam Sandler blockbuster, washes over the screen. “Pac Man’s a bad guy!?” Sandler cries — as aliens use three dimensional, holographic videogame characters to launch an assault on earth.
Who gives these pictures a green-light? What possessed James to co-write, produce and star in this lifeless sequel?
Mall Cop 2 begins shortly after the events of the first sleeper hit, with its hero enduring dark times. His wife ends their marriage after six days (of course) and a speeding milk truck flattens his mother as she picks up her morning paper. These scenes are neither funny nor sad, echoing a death rattle, a comedic failure that’s dead on arrival.
Life improves after Blart is invited to Las Vegas for a security guard convention. His daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) comes along; she’s been accepted to UCLA but is afraid to tell her obnoxiously overprotective father, who arms her with an arsenal of tactical security gear.
Director Andy Fickman — responsible for gems like Parental Guidance and Race to Witch Mountain — forces numerous establishing shots of the Wynn Las Vegas & Encore Resort. Famous for its priceless art collection, marginally more famous, now, after an exhausting amount of product placement in the Blartverse.
Enter a team of evil thieves (led by the callous Neal McDonough); they’re after an original van Gogh painting. Maya is kidnapped (again). Officer Blart to the rescue (again).
Segway jokes, generic fat gags, uninspired slapstick and two strange romantic subplots are just the beginning. James rings completely unlikable, his supporting cast even worse.
The direction is there. Kevin James is on screen. We see him, his soul is dead, as is the movie’s; another destined to join the cultural graveyard that is Happy Madison Productions.
Bring the kids, their experience may be a more positive one.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 opened last night and is showing locally at Film.Ca.