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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

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


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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

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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


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