Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Paul Blart: Mall Cop movie poster
MPAA rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
A shopping mall security guard (Kevin James) battles a group of organized criminals who have taken over the mall.
Starring: Kevin James, Keir O'Donnell, Jayma Mays
Director: Steve Carr
Running time: 1:31
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Editorial Review

Here is one good thing I can say about "Paul Blart: Mall Cop": Even though it was co-produced by Adam Sandler, it never sinks to scatological humor.

That's pretty much where the accolades end for this mediocre, unmemorable comedy, one with such obviously humble intentions that busting on it is a bit like harassing the junior high school outcast who just wants to eat his tater tots in peace. "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" never hurt anyone. Why can't I leave it alone?

Because I just can't, at least not until I provide the requisite plot summary. Kevin James plays an overweight mall security officer named Paul Blart. With few friends and wicked case of hypoglycemia, our hero has a heart of gold. He is a simple man devoted to the teenage daughter he raises as a single dad; the proprietress of the mall's hair extension kiosk; and the safety of the patrons who frequent Bath & Body Works and Limited Too.

On a particularly unfortunate Black Friday, a posse of thieves assumes control of the mall and starts to take hostages. Will the man who can't even break up a catfight at Victoria's Secret step up when it really counts?

James gamely pratfalls and stumbles through all 90 minutes of these proceedings, but his clumsy somersaults and silly Segway maneuvers elicit few giggles. More intriguing is Raini Rodriguez, a 15-year-old actress who conveys a believable sweetness as Blart's daughter and, with luck, will score a better part in a better movie someday.

Bottom line: If I were home sick and came across "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" on cable, then discovered that the remote was wayyy on the other side of the room, I could lie on the couch and watch the entire thing without being unhappy. But under normal circumstances, when there are so many other films to see, why bother?


-- Jen Chaney (Jan. 16, 2009)
Contains violence, mildly crude and suggestive humor and language.