Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: Get 6 Issues For £15
Get Empire magazine today and save money!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Kevin James
Keir O'Donnell
Jayma Mays
Raini Rodriguez.
Directors
Steve Carr.
Screenwriters
Kevin James
Nick Bakay.
Running Time
91 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Honeymoon
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Impresario, The
3 Star Empire Rating
I Origins
4 Star Empire Rating
Soul Boys Of The Western World
4 Star Empire Rating
What We Did On Our Holiday
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Think a lardy John McClane patrolling the Arndale centre...


submit to reddit


Plot
When villains seize a suburban shopping mall, bumptious security guard Paul Blart (James) must call on all his strictly nominal crime-fighting skills to foil their plans.


Review
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
At first glance, Paul Blart, the latest broad-beamed burlesque from Happy Gilmore Productions, Adam Sandler’s hit-and-miss fun factory, seems to be straightforward — a mildly diverting amusement adhering closely to the time-tested adage that a lardy loser striving for dignity in a sea of humiliations is a guaranteed laugh riot. A second glance might not reveal much more. But stick with it through the over-long set-up — not too taxing given the rapid-fire gag rate — and a movie with a surprising amount of heart emerges.


Kevin James, Sandler’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry accomplice, stars as the titular security drone, an inherently sweet-natured sad-sack who compensates for not being a real cop by carrying out his duties at a generic New Jersey shopping mall with the maximum officious self-importance.
 
Aside from much falling over in general, Paul also falls specifically for the cute girl at the hair-extensions kiosk and makes an even bigger ass of himself trying to impress her. He gets his main chance when a gang of skateboarding super-thieves takes over the mall and it falls to him to save the day. 

A strange, yet strangely appealing, merger of Die Hard and Home Alone, Paul Blart doesn’t have much to offer beyond the expected. Still, James is an extremely gifted physical comedian and, crucially, a genuinely likable guy. That does not fully explain, however, why, with an untested star and minimal marketing, Paul Blart has become an authentic box-office phenomenon, raking in $40 million on its opening weekend (twice as much as its own studio predicted).
 
It certainly has something to do with the tenor of the times, perhaps a rejection of the Bush administration’s macho bluster — Blart is the anti-John McCain — but more likely a combination of social and economic conditions that, on the one hand, render a blue-collar Joe Schmoe triumphing over adversity more attractive than a pumped-up one-man-army and, on the other, persuade ticket-buyers to be more circumspect. With financial hardships looming, would you rather spend money on a gruelling emotional downer like Revolutionary Road or a fat bloke on a Segway kicking evil X-gamer ass? And falling down. A lot.


Verdict
Hardly promising but, thanks to James’ winningly gung-ho underdog and the fat-man grace he brings to a pratfall, unexpectedly watchable


Reviewed by Simon Braund

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Empire Star Rating

Not a review - just want to point out a funny error

From the last paragraph: "Blart is the anti-John McCain" Surely John MCCLANE from the Die Hard series, not the septuagenarian Republican Presidential candidate?!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by G MAN at 20:39, 29 October 2010 | Report This Post


Paul Blart: Mall Cop

actually surprised me as it turns out it is a very enjoyable movie. Story line is still dribble but the acting and scenes are good as well as entertaining. Worth a watch on a rainy day. Three out of five. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mymatebone at 15:52, 08 May 2010 | Report This Post


Predictable

I heard that this movies was really good from so many people. So then I thought that maybe I should watch it to see what it's like. It turned out to be a movie you can sit through, but there wasn't a funny moment in it! It was predictable. like I had watched something like this before! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Rubhena at 00:47, 28 December 2009 | Report This Post


Funny

I was pleasantly surprised at this one. Obviously not as funny as @I now pronounce you'. which I thought was hilarious but quite funny and kids loved it. Good for a DVD but maybe not the effort of going to the cinema. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Seamus. Pat. at 15:06, 14 October 2009 | Report This Post


No good reason to see this

I went to the movie expecting a decent, okay film, but what i saw was a film that i wouldn't recomend to anyone, it just wasn't good, wasn't funny, and most importantly; it wasn't entertaining. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by StreetGangster at 13:35, 09 April 2009 | Report This Post


Surprising

I went in expecting the worst, the trailer was based on Kevin James' weight as the hilarity, gets old fast, and I couldn't stand the trailer for more than a minute, but since it was such a big film in the US it had to be doing something right. (Plus I owed Kevin James for being the only guy to get me through my friend's choice of cinema outing, Chuck And Larry) With low expectations and a PG rating, I came out surprised, the first half hour setting up the character with some laughs, but mainly... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ethanial at 15:23, 18 March 2009 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

The Empire Podcast #128: Interviews With Sir Roger Moore And George MacKay
Plus we say goodbye to Richard Kiel and the British Expendables are assembled...

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Paul Newman
A cat so cool he makes Steve McQueen look geeky.

The Boxtrolls Interviews: The Cast And Crew On Laika's Latest
Sir Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning and more talk stop-motion

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)