This is what you do. This is what you mother fuckers do. You easily entertained, intellectually infantile, giggle-while-you-watch-shadows-dance-on-the-cave-wall idiots. You people who think 3D is actually worth something, you people who shell out for that shot of Taylor Lautner’s abs that the trailer already gave away, you people who take your children to the post-Pixar holocaust of cartoon movies, this is what you do. You turn Paul Blart: Mall Cop into a franchise.
In the opening scenes of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, in what is very much the best part of the film, Blart’s (Kevin James, who also writes) wife leaves him after six days and his mother gets hit by a milk truck. But he just as quickly receives a ray of light when he is invited to the national mall security conference in Las Vegas. There, the hits keep coming as Blart fights with his daughter and pretty much everyone he comes into contact with. Soon, this conflict becomes justified as Vincent (Neal McDonaugh) attempts to pull several priceless pieces of art from the hotel.
Is this supposed to be a satire? Is it supposed to be a Monty Python, so-bad-it’s-good fare? James initially laughed off the idea of a sequel, so there’s reason to think it may have been made intentionally poorly, but the first one was about this bad, so it’s more likely producers were simply aiming for this not-funniness.
And how not-funny it is. Lowlights include —
- A scene in which the entire gag is a worker eating a really old bannana. It’s funny because of the mold!
- A scene in which Blart is attacked by a peacock. No one is around, there’s no impact on the rest of the plot, there’s just a peacock there and it attacks him.
- A scene in which Blart passes out from his hypoglycemia and must crawl under a child’s dripping ice cream, which he desperately swallows as it gets all over his face.
- That fucking segway scene.
The opportunity for something as awful as the first movie, a spectacular flop critically, to get a sequel was created when it was released on MLK weekend in 2009 against My Bloody Valentine, Notorious, Hotel for Dogs and Gran Torino in its second weekend. As the only thing even remotely family friendly that wasn’t about dogs on a three day weekend, placement is the only thing commendable about that film, and now, Sony’s gone and done it again, pushing this out with a week’s buffer on either side between Fast and Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The studio will surely have another hit on its hands, and surely find it within its heart to release a third of these atrocities eventually.
Don’t go see this. Please, God, don’t! Child 44 just released, True Story just released, Unfriended released and It Follows is still in theaters. There are so many better options. Only you can prevent bad sequels. Keep your money and prevent another one in this series.
Leopold Knopp is a formerly professional film critic, licensed massage therapist and journalism student at the University of North Texas. All-way stops are really, really terrible places to park. I’ve had a change of heart about reader input. It is now welcomed and encouraged. Like Reel Entropy on Facebook, follow it on Twitter @reelentropy, and shoot questions to reelentropy@.