Bruce Bennett Short Bio

Bruce Bennett

Bruce Bennett has been the primary contributor to Mad About Movies since it began in 2003. He is an award winning film and theater critic who, since 2000, has been writing a weekly column in The Spectrum daily newspaper in southern Utah as well as serving as a contributing editor of “The Independent,” a monthly entertainment magazine. He is also the co-host of “Film Fanatics” a movie review show which earned a Telly in 2009. Bruce is also a featured contributor at:

His motto: "I see bad movies so you don't have to."

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Kevin’s pain your gain
Even though its predecessor broke box office records for a January release back in 2009, no one over 10 years old was craving a sequel to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” Come to think of it, a nine-year-old back then is 15 today, so it’s likely a kid that age probably isn’t going to admit wanting a second installment either. (These films are not exactly cool.) But parents who want something silly and basically inoffensive to see with their kids will tolerate another 90 minutes of actor Kevin James’ endless pratfalls.
At the risk of destroying any shred of credibility left in my movie critic mojo, this review is going to give some props to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.” Though it isn’t consistently as creative or humorous as its predecessor, it does feature the most important ingredient: Kevin James.
James, the former small college football fullback and community theater actor turns 50 this weekend, and at 5’ 8” and 285 pounds probably subjects himself to more pain while performing his own stunts than any actor in recent memory. “Mall Cop 2” relies on his physicality almost exclusively, with a fairly weak plot about an art heist in Las Vegas that was likely written on the tissue paper wrapped around one of James’ Krispy Kreme doughnuts. (Like the first film, James co-wrote the screenplay along with Nick Bakay.) In other words, plot isn’t the point here. (To be fair, the first “Mall Cop” had a fun “Die-Hard”-themed story.)
But there is plenty of James’ character Paul Blart scooting around, impressively, on the nerdiest of Segways while bouncing off of glass doors and wrestling with a CGI peacock. If this isn’t your sort of humor that can be understood, but it should be mentioned that there is a reason that Buster Keaton and The Three Stooges are revered in some high-brow circles. And James certainly can’t be faulted for a lack of effort—there is no stunt he isn’t willing to try. Compare that dedication to his friend and producer Adam Sandler, who sometimes looks like he’s literally sleepwalking through his own movies.
Raini Rodriguez returns as Blart’s clever daughter who is trying to grow up, and Neal McDonough plays the bad guy with two different colored pupils. While the ensemble here isn’t nearly as interesting as the first time around, this sequel is set in, and for all intents and purposes serves as a commercial for, the beautiful Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, which acts as a host of the security cop convention that Blart is attending. Security cops are an easy target for comedy, and the film provokes a few chuckles at their expense.
“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” is by no means a great movie, and it isn’t likely to approach the box-office success of the first film. But when it hits Redbox, it will likely be one of the few live action PG comedies available. It doesn’t break new ground in any way, but it relishes Kevin James hitting it for our pleasure as many times as he can—and sometimes that’s enough.
Rated PG.



5 Responses to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

  1. HACK says:

    Wow, great review you talentless shill.

    • admin says:

      Don’t be a coward, explain yourself.

      • HACK says:

        I think your review explains more than I ever could. You gave Paul Blart 2 a positive review. Though this isn’t so much a review as it is a running out of the string- a sloppy synopsis which smacks not of insight, but a high school student trying to fill a minimum word requirement to an assignment. You go on and on and belabor the point by dancing around how god-awful of a movie this turd really is, then quickly bow out by saying “it’s one of a kind at the Redbox”. It’s lazy writing with factoids sprinkled throughout in an attempt to appear insightful- “James is turning 50… he played football… uhhh… It’s a movie! The End.”

        • admin says:

          Tell me why Mr. or Ms. Hack, why saying it is a unique “Live action PG comedy” at Redbox is not being truthful? Isn’t it lazier to attack something without the facts?

  2. HACK says:

    “I see bad movies so you should have to.” As I already stated, the best thing you can say about the movie is that it’s a movie that has a genre. Saying the comedy “relies almost exclusively on [James’] physicality” is really just a euphemism for saying “the jokes are poorly-written and aren’t funny”. You chose to dance around the elephant in the room rather than address it head-on, which is something a dextrous shill would do. The nicest things you can say in the review *are actually facts*, many of which are either about James himself, or trivia surrounding the setting. The rest of the review is summary of plot, which again shows how scared you are of actually having an opinion. To that end, I can’t even see how you assign ANY rating to the movie after all the pettifogging you do, let alone giving it a “B”.

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