By now, you're likely aware of the existence of "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2," which is holding steady at an impressive zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes. At this point, the mere phrase "Paul Blart" is a shorthand for aggressively lowest-common-denominator comedy. Your dad or your uncle probably loves the first "Paul Blart." If you've never seen either of the films, you have a fully formed idea of what they are in your head, based solely on the four words "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."
This movie is bad. As bad as whatever it is you're expecting. But it isn't bad in the exact WAY that you're expecting. For starters, the most surprising and perhaps best thing that can be said for the movie is that it doesn't feature a single fart joke. The main problem is that it doesn't really seem to feature jokes at all. It features a lot of Kevin James falling and sliding and running into things, as well as a lot of Kevin James shimmying and somersaulting and doing karate hands while yelling non-sequiturs like "AIR BAG!"
The following is a partial list of things that happen in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2":
- The movie opens with Paul Blart being served divorce papers
- Paul Blart's mother is killed after being hit by a milk truck
- Paul Blart gets hit by a car
- Paul Blart sees an aggressively drunk security guard making a woman uncomfortable at a bar and ASSISTS THE SECURITY GUARD
- Paul Blart fights a large bird while a hotel employee plays a grand piano and watches
- Paul Blart loses consciousness mid-run because his blood sugar gets too low
- Paul Blart has to lap up a child's dripping ice cream cone to regain strength, a la Popeye's spinach
- Paul Blart punches an old woman in the stomach
- Paul Blart hides himself in a large suitcase that is still very visibly much smaller than Paul Blart
- After his daughter is kidnapped, Paul Blart is distracted for a full minute by someone eating a very brown banana
- A woman falls in love with Paul Blart for literally no reason
- A man wins a fight because his pants fall down
- A running storyline involving little person cover band Mini KISS
- Paul Blart ziplines from one casino rooftop to another
- Paul Blart successfully disguises himself as his own daughter
- A villain gets defeated with oatmeal makeup
- A cameo from Steve Wynn (the "Wynn" from "Wynn Casino")
- Paul Blart gets kicked by a horse so hard he flies across a street and destroys a minivan
(By the way, at the risk of spoiling this film for you: that "Paul Blart gets kicked by a horse" shot, from the trailer? That's the end of the movie. That's how this movie ends.)
There are two main problems with the movie. The first is that Paul Blart, as a character, is a profoundly unlikable buffoon. Kevin James, the person and stand-up comedian, is a pretty likable fellow. It's the reason why he's been so successful for so long. But there is not a thing enjoyable about Paul Blart, or what he does, or his motivations for doing them. He's a relentlessly oblivious bloviator, who is also an overbearing, selfish, suspicious and domineering father. He acts like he knows it all while failing at everything. At the same time, he's such a singularly pathetic character that the filmmakers clearly want you to feel bad for him.
The second problem with the movie is that it's a two-minute premise stretched out over the course of 94 minutes. Paul Blart goes to Las Vegas for a security guard convention and bumbles into a casino art heist. That's it. There isn't a single scene in this film that doesn't feel like it's padding for time. Paul Blart will make some sort of verbal or mental blunder and then spend several lines explaining to himself and everyone else what just happened. The joke is that they're explaining the joke when there's no need to, you see.
"Paul Blart 2" proves that it's actually better to have 10 pounds of crap in a two-pound bag, than two minutes of crap spread out over the course of a 94-minute movie.