Written by / 4/17/2015 / No comments / , , ,

KEVIN JAMES RETURNS IN PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2

year: 2015 rating: *
The first PAUL BLART: MALL COP starred the underdog of Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison ensemble, who have more perpetually connected projects than Judd Apatow. That being KING OF QUEENS actor Kevin James as an anal, unappreciated mall security cop playing strictly by the rules and getting absolutely nowhere in life… And surprisingly enough, the dark horse project made tons of money at the box office.

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It’s tough getting a handle on James’ particular comedic niche, especially in the BLART films. He’s kind of lovable and completely unlucky, mumbling words that are supposed to mean something important only to apologize for the attempt at heroism or depth, right after. Too nice for sarcasm and practically glued to a stand-up scooter, he plays up the Happy Fat Guy routine with energetic gusto, and can really move and shake: like Chris Farley and, going back even further, John Belushi and, for the really obscure pop culture fanatics, Fred Rerun Berry!

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So now, Blart travels from his New Jersey gig to Las Vegas where a convention of other security guards are meeting. The first half deals with really long, awkward bits where Paul attempts simple tasks. From checking into the hotel to opening a candy bar, he takes things slow, meticulous and clumsy... For a little while...

Wherein most comedies wait till the end to get serious enough for the subliminal plot to be resolved, usually through some kind of action sequence, halfway though PAUL BLART 2 the bad guys kidnap his daughter, igniting a frantic hijinx DIE HARD as our obese hero battles a gang of art thieves. And although there are practically no laughs beyond lame physical gags, we’re delivered from that painful set-up, wasting a good (if overused) location and an opportunity to meet more than one pretentious rent-a-cop. In other words, there's a lot more going on this time, and none of it's the least bit funny. So do yourself a favor and check out HERE COMES THE BOOM, a worthy Kevin James vehicle that doesn't try too hard – although trying too hard seems to be his signature style.
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