Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)

Genre(s): Comedy
Sony || PG - 91 minutes - $28.96 || May 19, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-05-19


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Steve Carr
Writer(s): Kevin James & Nick Bakay (written by)
Cast: Kevin James


Theatrical Release Date: January 16, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 11 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French

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.::THE FILM::.

Iíve never been a huge Kevin James fan. A lot of people I know say that his show was pretty funny, but I could never get into it. Iím sorry, but a girl like his wife does not marry a guy like him. There, I said it, hate me if you must. Regardless though, his latest flick Paul Blart: Mall Cop isnít necessarily a horrible film, but itís not one to win him any awards in my book.

Paul Blart (Kevin James) is an out of shape mall cop. He is seen in a flashback trying to finish his police training for SWAT but just as heís about to cross the goal line he passes out. It turns out that heís hypoglycemic, which means he suffers from not having enough sugar in his body. If he doesnít get sugar roughly every twenty minutes then he passes out or gets weaker until he does. Thatís obviously important later on in the movie, so be sure to remember that. Heís sitting with his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) and his mother (Shirley Knight) who are trying to console him about failing the test again. They are trying to get him to do something he promised around Thanksgiving last year about finding someone to date.

See, it turns out that Blartís wife only married him for citizenship, and once they were married and had a kid she ran off since she had her green card. Itís a funny story the way he tells it, and a hilarious picture to go along with the story, so I wonít spoil it. Maya insists that they make him an online dating profile, something along the lines of perfect match. They throw in some pictures of him as well as a video introduction of Blart riding his scooter thatís entertaining to watch. He lets them do it, and goes to work the next day after reminding them about how big of a deal Black Friday is (the day after Thanksgiving, biggest shopping day of the year, people act crazy on this day, etc) and how much trouble the mall is going to be.

He arrives at work to get some crap from his co-workers about how he tries to do more work than everyone else, although he is just a simple mall cop. Blart laughs it off, saying heís just a hard worker and he has some good ideas to make the mall safer and better for people. While out on his scooter he spots Amy (Jayma Mays) who works at a stand that sells wigs for both genders. However instead of paying attention where heís driving on his scooter, he runs smack dab into a minivan that is being used for a giveaway and manages to get a dent in it from the collision. He laughs off the incident and tries to flirt with Amy, when another jerk from the mall comes into the conversation and invites Amy and not Blart out to eat later. Amy blows him off but says sheíll go and invites Blart to go with her. In true comic fashion, Blart insists on buying a wig since he needs ďextensionsĒ for his style. She lets him buy something and the two become friends.

Blart gets introduced to his new rookie Veck (Keir OíDonnell) who he offers to show the ropes too for the next few days. It might seem odd that Veck is getting hired around Black Friday but it doesnít matter to Blart. Veck and Blart attend the party at the bar in the mall where Blart tries to flirt with Amy but the same jerk from before tries to screw him over again. He lets Blart know that he and Amy are dating and to leave her alone. Disheartened by this, Blart and Leon (Jamal Mixon) have an eating contest with a plate of nachos, but instead of drinking water to coax his burning mouth he drinks margaritas instead. He has a huge drinking problem that causes him to act irrationally when he does so, and turns into a wild beast. He makes a complete fool of himself to Amy and considers his chances blown.

He wakes up the next day at home and a new tattoo on his lower back of the Loch Ness Monster. His daughter tries to console him but itís not working, and he heads off to the mall to a crappy day. He tries approaching Amy but the two act real weird towards each other, but eventually he apologizes for his actions and the two flirt again. He gives her a ride to her car on his scooter and she gives him his phone number. Blart however doesnít have a phone, and heads off to the cell phone store where one of his friends works and he hooks him up with his daughterís cell phone that he took away. Happy yet again about life, he heads home to rest. The next day ends with Blart playing in the arcade, and a hostile takeover led by Veck. It turns out that Veck is a bad guy after all and only got the job there to know who the cops were and successfully steal all the money that the shoppers spent from the stores in the mall. Can Blart stop Veck after heís already kidnapped the entire mall? Can Blart hook up with Amy? Will he be the hero this movie makes him out to be?

Iíll be honest; I did chuckle a few times throughout the movie. There are some laughs to be had here, but there just arenít enough to keep people wanting a hilarious movie entertained. Itís a good family flick though, as there arenít any violent scenes and all the action sequences are meant to be funny and donít show anyone really getting hurt. Itís just an average movie that isnít particularly bad in anyway, but it just doesnít work for someone in my age group. Younger people and parents with kids will love this one though.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Kevin James and Producer Todd Garner: As with the other special features, James is funnier in this commentary than he was in the movie. The two talk about their favorite scene in the movie (the opening with the badge), James jokes about his castmates, and a few behind the scenes gaffs (such as his mother wearing a fat suit). This is a spectacular commentary that I found better than the movie, so be sure to listen to this one if you didnít find the movie to be satisfying.

Deleted Scenes (12 minutes): I was expecting for a comedy for these to be funny, but I was wrong. There are a decent amount of scenes here but they donít really work in the comedy factor nor add anything to the story, so youíd be best to skip these.

Multiple Featurettes (50 minutes): A whopping eleven different features that deal with everything from behind the scenes of the movie, to cast and crew interviews, and pretty much anything else in between. I actually found this to be just as entertaining as the film, as James is much better here than he is during the movie itself. They are split up though so you can come back and watch them as you please, or just click play all and enjoy the hilarity.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

For a recent release, this one looks fairly good. Color-wise it appears great, as depth isnít a problem and there are no visible artifacts or distortion. The color palette itself is also fine, as the characters look how they should and there arenít any issues with flesh tones. The problem lies within the contrast, as scenes appear for the most part a bit off and darker than they should be. The scenes at Blartís house for example appear dark and murky, while the mall scenes are brighter and more exuberant. Most people wonít notice it, but I found it to be annoying as the transitional phase between the scenes made it quite obvious.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track that comes with the movie doesnít really do it any favors either, as itís a heavy comedy dialogue film with a few action scenes thrown in at the end of it. Dialogue levels are also inconsistent, as several times I struggled to hear the cast say their lines, but when I could hear them it sounded decent but nothing I would brag about. Surround use was also minimal at best, but towards the end when the action sequences kicked in there was a bit of usage. This isnít a horrible track, but itís just one that does what it needs to do for the audience.



.::OVERALL::.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop isnít a perfect comedy for some, but for those with children or younger audiences then this is the movie for you. The technical package is slightly above average, and the special features package is well-done for the blockbuster this movie was. This is one cop worth a rental. I would come up with some clever joke about renting this one at a mall and saying hi to a cop after buying it, but I couldnít think of one. Just rent it.