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Directed by Andy Fickman. Produced by Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jack Giarraputo, and Todd Garner. Written by Kevin James and Nick Bakay. Release date: April 17, 2015.


Every now and then a movie comes along that’s so inept that you wonder if anyone bothered to read the screenplay, watch any of the footage that was filmed, or used their brains to think about it for even a second before tossing it into theaters. For whatever reason, these movies almost always tend to be comedies. Paul Blart: Mall Cop, wasn’t quite as bad as I’m implying in the last few sentences. Its sequel, though, creatively titled Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, is exactly that bad. This is the worst movie of 2015 – and easily one of the worst of the decade, if not the century. I wish this was a hyperbolic statement, but it sadly is not. That’s how bad this movie is.

The first film, in case you don’t remember – it has been six years, making us wonder who, exactly, was clamoring for a Paul Blart sequel – saw the eponymous hero, played by Kevin James, saving his local New Jersey mall from criminals who wanted to steal things from it. It wasn’t funny, its action was horrible, and its love story was horrible. There wasn’t much redeeming about it, but a lot of people saw it. Sony, the studio behind the film, isn’t exactly making a ton of money – especially with the debacle that was the Amazing Spider-Man reboot – so now we’re getting Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, an attempt to milk a cow that one can only hope died in the six years between films and whose milk is actually its decomposing body.

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Still, I would rather re-watch the original Paul Blart or either of the Amazing Spider-Man films again than sit through Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 for a second time. None of the aforementioned are any good – and they’re even painful for most of their running times, too – but at least they aren’t this bad. There isn’t a single moment of competency in Paul Blart 2. There are no laughs, there aren’t any heartfelt moments – despite the film’s late-game attempts – the characters are all one-note and poorly acted, and most of the film, until its heist finale, feels as if it could have been edited together in almost any order. It’s mundanely shot. Absolutely nothing works.

I’ll give you two examples of the jokes, and you can figure out from there whether or not you’re going to like Paul Blart 2. (1) Blart’s mother is run over and killed by a milk truck. That’s the joke. We see it and then we’re supposed to laugh. (2) Fatty falls down. Seriously, we’re in 2015 and we’re still doing “fatty falls down” jokes – and lots of them fill this movie’s running time.

There’s no humor, no heart, no intelligence, and no reason for you to waste your money on it.

Does anyone care about the plot? Maybe one of you? Okay. Blart and his daughter (Raini Rodriguez) go to Las Vegas to attend a conference for mall cops, or something. But there’s a villainous plan afoot, so after 45 minutes of goofing off and doing absolutely nothing of value, Blart has to jump – or waddle, if I’m using the film’s humor – into action and save the day. Yes, basically just like the first movie. There are a couple of subplots, like how Blart still treats his daughter like she’s 12 even though she’s about to go off to college, but none of them work or are given much screen time. It’s mostly just Blart goofing off while doing very little, followed by Blart joking his way through action scenes.

The movie’s incompetency would be tolerable if it was funny, but, at least for me – and for the audience with whom I saw the film; there was maybe a single laugh in the entire film, and it came from a scene in the trailer – there isn’t anything funny here. A bad comedy is the worst kind of movie, since the hook winds up failing you, and bad comedies are usually awful outside of the humor, too, so there’s nothing to latch onto once you realize you’re not going to be laughing. If you need an example of a horrible comedy – for research, or because you love wasting money to see trash – then by all means go see Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

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I can’t even explain to you why we’re supposed to like Blart as a character. He’s a jerk, he’s overly controlling, he’s rude, he’s obnoxious, he’s clueless, and he’s smug. Why are we rooting for him? His attitude attempts to be explained away as loneliness, but the film doesn’t have the depth or intelligence to pull that off. Oddly enough, the film’s first few scenes actually treat Blart like the awful person he is – before forgetting that and worshiping him instead.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is another Happy Madison production in which its stars get a paid vacation to a destination of their choice – and also they film some scenes that are cobbled together into something that almost resembles a real movie. There’s no humor, no heart, no intelligence, and no reason for you to waste your money on it.

Bottom Line: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is a horrible movie from start to finish with absolutely nothing present that’s redeemable or even competent.

Recommendation: I can’t imagine anyone having even a slight semblance of a good time with Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Forget it exists.

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If you want more of Matthew “Marter” Parkinson, you can follow him on the Twitter @Martertweet and check out his weekly movie podcast.

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