Funny man Kevin James returns as Paul Blart in this year’s sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. It’s a different stomping ground this time as Paul moves from his humble, little New Jersey shopping complex to the glitzy Wynn Las Vegas & Encore Resort. Like its predecessor, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 highlights the bumbling, unfortunate nature of Paul and his blundering adventures as a mall cop. After six years, Paul experiences several hardships – from his deterioration of his marriage after six day to the ill-fated death of his mother by means of a milk truck.
In true Paul Blart nature, Paul is unlucky with life but hits a sudden opportunity through an invitation to a security officers’ convention held in Las Vegas. Together with his daughter, Maya (Raini Rodriguez), a smart and sweet young woman who is hiding her recent college acceptance, Paul and his daughter travel to Sin City and it is here where they find love and adventure; Paul with the daughter of the general manager of Wynn, Divina (Daniella Alonso) and Maya with the charming hotel valet, Lane (David Henrie).
Kevin James, well-known for his comedic roles in recent films such as Grown Ups, Zookeeper, Here Comes the Boom, returns to his signature role as a clumsy, awkward mall cop. Grasping on to the stereotypical “funny fat guy”, James keeps the ball rolling with comic antics and oafish behaviour. With the addition of Rodriguez, audiences get to view the endearing scenes between father and daughter, a nice and brief break from Paul’s foolish behaviour. Adding yet another villian-type role to his IMDB page, Neal McDonough plays a similar version of his countless roles in past films as criminal Vincent Sofel.
Whilst its predecessor was a box-office success, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has been met with unfortunate critical criticism – and rightly so. Mall Cop 2 emphasises on the seemingly hilarious antics of Paul as he constantly bungles and wrecks havoc. Sadly, these antics have grown old and exhausted. Like the apparent lack of originality in the title, Mall Cop 2 is mind-numbing and lackluster. The film spends most of its time showing the misfortunes of Paul and his klutzy nature, illustrating miserable scenes that make you wonder why a sequel was even needed. Produced with buddy and frequent on-screen partner Adam Sandler (Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2), Mall Cop 2 is downright disappointing – to both comedy and the talent of James and Sandler.
Bottom line: James retains his funny persona in a sequel that was unfortunate and unnecessary.