Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Director: Andy Fickman
Starring: Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez, Eduardo Verástegui
94 mins; Class PG;
KRS Releasing Ltd

I never had the pleasure of watching Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the 2009 comedy starring Kevin James. I didn’t miss too much apparently, my research has shown – the movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes describing it as having ‘some laughs, but its plot is flimsy and lacking in any sustained comic momentum’.

Audiences clearly thought other-wise however, and the €26 million budgeted film raked in a modest €183 worldwide; just enough to merit this completely pointless sequel, which has, believe it or not, an even flimsier plot, and no comic momentum whatsoever to speak of.

At the beginning of the movie our ‘hero’ Paul Blart (Kevin James) finds himself single once again – his bride Amy (Jayma Mays, here shown in what I suspect are clips from the first movie.

Clearly, the actress had better things to do with her time and filed for divorce a week after the wedding.

Then, his mother (Shirley Knight on screen for three seconds) gets ignominiously hit by a milk truck (in the first of two completely tasteless gags involving elderly women).

The industry has completely lost its humour

And so, poor Paul finds himself alone with his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez). Things look up when Paul is offered an all-expenses paid trip to a security convention in Las Vegas, as a reward for his great work on the job.

He gladly sets off, daughter in tow, but instead of being given the hero’s welcome he expects, he is rebuffed by his colleagues and before long stumbles onto a plot to rob the hotel’s priceless art collection which he attempts to thwart.

This film left me genuinely scratching my head as to why it seems so difficult for Hollywood to come out with a solid comedy these days. I wonder whether the industry has completely lost its sense of humour, instead relying on flogging the dead horses of tired slapstick comedy, for that is all James seems to do here.

He falls over a lot, crashes into things, shows off on his vehicle of choice – the Segway. The comedy set-ups include a fight with a peacock and an impromptu appearance in a Vegas dance show neither of which provide the laughs they promise.

In a nutshell, James prat-falls his way through a script that blithely believes it is clever. It is not; it is the epitome of lazy writing and base characterisation.