Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Rated PG; Directed by Steve Kerr; Starring Kevin James, Jayma Mays, Raini Rodriguez, Keir O’Donnell, Bobby Cannavale
Kevin James as a leading man? That’s as improbable as the Arizona Cardinals going to the Super Bowl. Yet, improbable things happen. The Cards are going and Kevin James stars and succeeds in Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It’s not the smartest comedy, but Kevin James makes something rather mediocre into something with plenty of laughs.
Kevin James plays Paul Blart, a shopping-mall security guard who dreams of joining the New Jersey police. Riding around on his Segway at the mall and training the new security guard, Veck (Keir O’Donnell), Blart takes his mall guard job very seriously. The only thing that befuddles him is Amy (Jayma Mays), the cute, new sales clerk at one of the mall kiosks. Unfortunately, things don’t look too good for his future with the police force or with Amy, when one night a gang of terrorizing thieves take over the mall.
The movie doesn’t have too many surprises, but manages to create some good fun for all ages. A slow start builds to some humorous scenes as Blart tries to outwit the bad guys. The film does rely on stupid behavior, but that seems a given in family comedies.
The real charm in the movie is the leading man. Kevin James has that puppy dog/teddy bear quality. How can you not like him? He sells the movie and makes his character one to cheer on.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a comedy that doesn’t sink to total mediocrity. It often succeeds in its attempt to entertain. Amazingly, Kevin James makes an excellent leading man just as the Cardinals make an excellent football team. Go Cards! Er…go Paul Blart!