In this sequel, in which Kevin James reprises the role of Paul Blart, the security guard is headed to Las Vegas to attend a Security Guard Expo with his teenage daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) before she departs for college. While at the convention, he inadvertently discovers a heist – and it's up to Blart to apprehend the criminals.
"I once fell asleep raking leaves"
There are some movies that simply just do not need sequels - but get them anyway. Usually this isn't so bad since it's kinda nice to see an old familiar face once in awhile. Sure the movie might not be as good as the original, like 'Dumb & Dumber To ' for example, but it does offer enough fun to be worth the time. When 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' proved to be a profitable success at the box office in 2009 and transported Kevin James to the comedic leading man status on a Segway; a sequel should have come as no surprise. Surprisingly it took six years for 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' to reach cinema screens and it probably would have been better for James to pursue more original fair along the lines of 'Here Comes The Boom' rather than signing up for this painfully unfunny sequel.
When we last saw Paul Blart (Kevin James) after his Black Friday shenanigans, everyone's favorite hero mall cop seemed to be living the good life. He had just gotten married to his dream girl Amy (Jayma Mays). Now he still lives with his mother (Shirley Knight) and his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) is alive and safe, but the honeymoon turned out to be tragically short. Amy divorces Paul after six days of marriage and Mom is promptly killed by a speeding milk truck and Maya is about to leave for college. Just when our favorite rent-a-cop could use a pick me up, he gets a notice he's been invited to attend the security officer's convention in Las Vegas. Even better, when Paul arrives he hears a rumor he may in fact be the keynote speaker! Life is looking up…for about five seconds.
First the room isn't ready, Maya starts to fall for a valet driver named Lane (David Henrie), Paul loses all of his cash in a single throw at craps, and on top of all that he learns he is in fact not the keynote speaker. Little does Paul know that a more sinister plot is afoot. At the same time as the security convention, an international art thief known as Vincent (Neal McDonough) is plotting to steal all of the hotel's valuable artwork and swap the rare pieces out with high quality forgeries. When Vincent's plan goes awry and Maya witnesses the crooks in action; she's taken hostage. As the hotel's last line of defense Officer Blart becomes Las Vegas' only hope to restore law and order and bring Sin back to the City.
Kevin James is one of those comedic actors I really want to enjoy, but the movies he's in are pretty tough to get through. I saw 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop' on an airplane years and years go. I don't remember much of it other than having a decent laugh or two. This time out, the experience is deathly unfunny and becomes a chore to watch in a single sitting. When the movie feels like it's already been on for an hour or longer, checking my Blu-ray display I learned I'd only made it through 32 minutes of the movie and the A story hadn't even kicked in yet! Part of the problem is pacing; this movie just lumbers from one uncomfortable joke to the next without any sort of real payoff. It also feels extremely "paint-by-the-numbers" like there were entirely too may chefs in the kitchen for this thing to cook properly. The cast is trying their best, but their best just isn't good enough.
Since 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' is essentially a ripoff of 'Die Hard' it would have been funny as all get out if this flick just played it straight and simply was an awkward remake of that Bruce Willis starring actioner. Instead, this movie decides to go the "lets watch the fat guy fall down" route to ill effect. Then you have the jokes involving Blart's need for sugary snacks to keep his blood sugar up and the movie starts to get more than a little sad. Kevin James already does physical comedy pretty well, he's just an expressive and funny guy by nature, there really doesn't need to be a calorie-laden impetus to move the comedy forward.
If you're going to digest the plot for what it is, the biggest problem is Neal McDonough's Vincent. It's not that McDonough is a bad actor or wrong for the part, in fact it's the opposite - he's too perfect. So when the movie goes ten and fifteen minute stretches without seeing him, his casting as the villain is completely wasted. If you've seen the fourth season of Justified you know his lack of presence here is a real shame since he has a keen way of being a hilarious psychotic character for Kevin James to potentially play off of except they share very little screen time to make the venture worth it.
Now I'm not one to normally be overly critical of a comedy, especially one that is by design intended to be silly, stupid, and just make you laugh a time or two. While I had a chuckle here or there and a solid laugh during the opening tragedy montage, the rest of the movie is just not funny. So many jokes are set up without any real payoff the thing just becomes a slog. When Paul has a chance to fight an exotic bird in a garden with a piano player in the background, one would think there would be something to this scene, only it's not funny, goes no where, and renders the six minutes of screen time dedicated to it completely pointless. And that's how most of the movie goes; long setup, no payoff, little if any laughter. 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' was a tough movie to get through. I wanted to like it, I really did. I know people who enjoyed it quite a bit, but for me, the jokes just did not hit the way I had hoped they would.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' arrives on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures pressed on a Region Free BD50 disc. Housed in a standard case with slip cover, the Blu-ray comes with a DVD of the film as well as a Ultraviolet Digital HD copy voucher. The disc opens up to trailers for 'Aloha' 'Pixels' 'Hotel Transylvania 2' 'Grown Ups 2' 'Here Comes The Boom' 'Zookeeper' before arriving at the main menu.
Given its digital photography and the Las Vegas setting, 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' makes for an absolutely splendid, near demo-worthy 1.85:1 1080p HD presentation. Detail as should be expected is exquisitely crisp and crystal clear. All you have to do is pay attention to facial features as well as various character's intricate costuming to appreciate the detail levels. Black levels and shadows are strong and effective creating a nice sense of three dimensional depth. The real winning aspect of this transfer is the color. Primaries have amazing pop and presence while not making the film look to hot or overly saturated. Just look at Blart's shirts to see what I'm talking about. Additionally flesh tones are nice and even ensuring everyone looks healthy.
For a primarily front channel loaded film, 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' actually makes decent use of its DTS-HD 5.1 audio track. Dialogue comes through just fine and is never lost - even when James is trying to play things a little more subtle and quiet. When the action picks up, the surround channels see a lot of life and provide a nice and natural sounding ambiance. The dynamic range is solid all around letting the bass notes of the score and thumps in the sound effects have a nice weighty vibe to them. The busier sequences are the real highlights like when Blart first arrives in Las Vegas with his daughter or when he tries playing craps for the first time and kills the action. The best laugh I got was some guy's response that comes in from the left side channel. A nicely detailed sound design that comes through with great effect for this track.
Gag Reel: (HD 7:42) A collection of screwed up takes. Some are funny, but a lot of them look a bit too rehearsed to be genuine.
Deleted Scenes: (HD 4:42) A collection of deleted sequences that don't really add any humor so they weren't missed.
Action Adventure: (HD 5:57) A pretty standard EPK style feature showing what went into shooting the action sequences.
Back In The Saddle: (HD 1:58) Another short segment about what it took to get the sequel made.
La Réve: (HD 4:50) A short feature about the Las Vegas live act and how it worked into the movie and what it took to get their involvement in the film.
No Animals Were Harmed: (HD 2:15) A very brief look at filming the bird fight scene.
Real Cops: (HD 1:16) Typical throw away EPK material where Las Vegas police officers are asked what they think about Blart.
Photo Gallery: A collection of behind the scenes set stills.
Security Force: The Cast and Crew of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2: (HD 4:55) The cast talks about the production, working on the film, each other and what drew them to their respective characters.
How to Make a Movie: (HD 4:12) Director Andy Fickman takes viewers behinds the scenes of the production highlighting the people and their positions working on the film.
Some comedies just aren't meant to be thought about. 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' is one of those movies where if you spend too much time pondering the plot or characters or the "theme" of the movie, you risk hurting yourself. I knew that going into this one and even then I still had a tough time getting many true laughs out of the picture. With a demo worthy image, a strong DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track and a slew of short extras, fans of the film should be extremely happy. If you enjoyed the first film but missed this one while it was in theaters, I strongly encourage a rental first - just to be on the safe side of mall cop law enforcement.