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"Paul Blart: Mall Cop"

Directed by Steve Carr.
Written by Kevin James and Nick Bakay.
Starring Kevin James, Jayma Mays, Keir O'Donnell and Bobby Cannavale.
Release Year:  2009
Review Date:  2/10/09


Here's what "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" has going for it:

  1. A great, great title.  Whenever I say the word "blart", I burst into laughter.  Adding "mall cop" to it sells the puppy better than most titles you will see this year.

  2. Kevin James, playing an overweight sap who believes that failing the New Jersey State Trooper exams (eight times) is okay because he has a real cop job to fall back a mall.

  3. A pretty decent 20-minute stretch where Blart trains a rookie mall cop (Keir O'Donnell), gets harassed by other mall customers who know Blart has no real authority, and then a sequence where Blart gets punch drunk in a Bennigan's style restaurant attached to the mall.

  4. Segways.

The rest of this movie is pretty terrible, but then again, it has found a way to scare up north of $100 million on just James (the cast is beyond no name; 90% of you won't recognize Blart's boss, who was one of the regulars from "The Wire", or Allen Covert, the star of "Grandma's Boy").  The movie's main plot concerns the attempts of the rookie mall cop and his band of extreme thieves--all of them skateboard, ride BMX bikes and/or attempt "free running" stunts around the mall--to rob $30 million from the mall's vendors, and the way Blart foils the bad guys works well for small, small children, but not for sensible adults.  Even the cops waiting in the parking lot outside the mall don't have the flavor that the cops in "Die Hard" did, or even a shade of that, so prepare to be bored more often than not.

Meg and I did laugh out loud three or four times, and James milks the big body for a few other chuckles by simply looking awkwardly large throughout the movie.  Otherwise, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" was pretty bad, but given the cash it has made, a sequel is probably already in the works!

Rating:  Rental


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 02/26/09