The character of Paul Blart first graced cinema screens back in 2009, and the reception from viewers and critics was not anything particularly special. Now, six years later, Blart and company return for a sequel that is bigger, louder, and far dumber than its predecessor.
This time around Blart (Kevin James) is invited to attend an annual Security Guard convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada after being dumped by his wife and losing his mother in a tragic accident. After some minor complications, Blart is asked to deliver the keynote address for his fellow peers when he discovers a sinister plot to steal all the major art pieces on display in the hotel. It is up to Blart and his unique skill set to stop a group of dangerous criminals from pulling off a huge heist while also rescuing his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) who is being held hostage by master criminal Vincent (Neal McDonough).
This is a horrible movie. There is nothing original or seemingly thought out anywhere in this film, which is sad because the genre is ripe for parody. The first film took the basic concept from “Die Hard” and applied it to the goofball antics of James, and it kind of worked because of the protagonist’s earnestness to succeed despite his obvious limitations. The sequel manages to run out of steam in the first ten minutes, with James’s slapstick shtick coming across as lazy and grating. Rather than embellishing on an already set character, the filmmakers create irritating situations that Blart reacts to without setting up any growth or dimension for viewers to respond to.
James has not done anything new or different since his show “The King of Queens” ended its nine season run, which is fine considering many actors stay within a certain genre. What sets the actor back is that he plays the same exact character in every single film he does, giving the viewers no sense of surprise, which prevents any form of connection between actor and audience. Jim Carrey headlines comedies with the same sense of humor, but his characters in “Dumb and Dumber”, “Liar Liar”, and “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” are all different from one another. James fails to do this which eventually leaves his viewers wanting more.
McDonough is fun as the villain even though he is given nothing to do, Rodriguez lacks the charm and chemistry she had in the first film and everyone else is given one-note characters that are not funny and are not amusing. This is a weakly written, unfunny, and surprisingly mean-spirited ‘comedy’ that serves as a sequel which is completely unwarranted. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” is not the worst film of all time, but it is ninety-four minutes that viewers will never get back. Ultimately, life is too short.