Sunday, May 31, 2009


Earlier this year, over the Martin Luther King Day long weekend, PAUL BLART: MALL COP debuted in theatres to a gross of $39.2 million. It went on to remain the most popular film in North America for three straight weeks and finished by pulling in $146 million. You really liked this movie. When I first saw the trailer, I thought, now there was a January dumping ground film if I’ve seen one before. And then you all went to see it. Not only did you see it but you told other people to see, judging from the slim week-to-week declines. Now that Mr. Blart is finally available to rent, I have seen it and I can’t say I share your admiration for mall security humour.

I will give you this. The best thing by far about PAUL BLART: MALL COP is Mr. Blart himself, Kevin James. James nails Blart. This is a pretty sad sack and your heart goes out to him immediately because James plays him with immense respect and sympathy for his position. This guy is in his forties and lives at home with his mother and teenage daughter. His wife left him after she got her green card and he has been working in mall security for ten years because he failed the police academy finals due to some serious hypoglycemia. He goes to work every day and gets no respect from his co-workers or the people he is paid to protect. James just laughs it off but he isn’t fooling anyone. This guy’s seriously unhappy, lonely and has huge confidence issues. James makes the movie but he’s got his work cut out for him with everything else in this movie that makes it ridiculous.

I should have known better. Check director, Steve Carr’s resume … DR. DOLITTLE 2, DADDY DAY CARE and ARE WE DONE YET? Apparently, Carr is the go to guy for low budget, simplistically broad family fare and PAUL BLART: MALL COP is his masterpiece. (I would love to be quoted in some paper calling this movie a masterpiece now.) I think I lost hope in the film when the mall was taken over by a bunch of skate boarding ninja punks looking to steal a bunch of credit card codes so they can fly to the Cayman Islands. That said, it was still a lot more enjoyable than that other mall cop movie, OBSERVE AND REPORT.

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