An awful mall cop

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In the world of unnecessary sequels to average family comedy films, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 stands out – not in a positive way.

Kevin James stars in  Mall Cop 2 (AP photo)
Kevin James stars in Mall Cop 2 (AP photo)

Usually in these kinds of films, the plot is light but the script is full of laughs and fan service to keep fans of the first film happy. However, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 does none of this.
In the opening minutes of the film, Glee star and romantic interest of the first film, Jayma Mays, is written out, as is Blart’s mother, who is unceremoniously killed by a milk truck, which is neither funny nor necessary.

The film’s exposition is also the only time we see the film take place in a mall, which is odd considering its title. Perhaps the departure from the first film is necessary, right? The majority of this sequel takes place in a Las Vegas resort, where Blart is invited to appear at a cop convention. Blart brings along his daughter, Maya, played by Raini Rodriguez, who is one of the film’s only likable characters.

Here, Mall Cop 2 struggles to find its identity. Is it a goofy comedy? Is it a father-daughter vacation movie? Even elements of cop drama and suspense sneak in at times. But the film never sticks to one theme for very long, and ultimately suffers as a result.

Even as a comedy, the film falls on its face, much like Blart does throughout the film through use of slapstick comedy. The slapstick is probably enough to keep some kids entertained, but none of the written jokes had adults or kids laughing at any point during the grueling hour and a half.
Additionally, Kevin James portrayal of the titular character is just as bad. In the first film, Blart’s character was goofy, yet down-to-earth and likable. Now, his cockiness comes off as straight arrogance, and his unexcited response to his daughter getting accepted to UCLA as well as his often over the top attempts at humor make his character rather unlikable.

Former Wizards of Waverly Place star David Henrie makes an appearance as Maya’s “romantic interest,” but is rather a friendly interest. While it was refreshing to see the former Disney star on the big screen, his character is incredibly bland, both in character development and spoken lines.

Comedy sequels are often light on plot and focus on cashing in on laughs and satisfying more of the same. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is so bad that it doesn’t even come close to that and is borderline unwatchable.