Let's Go to the Mall
Paul Blart (Kevin James - I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry) might be a bit of a sap but he is also a nice guy who is a single dad having been tricked by a woman who used him to get through immigration and despite failing he constantly tries to become a real cop with his hypoglycaemia becoming a sticking point. As such he does the next best thing working as a mall cop which he has done for years and takes his job seriously. But when a group of terrorists decide to take over the mall it is Blart's chance to prove himself a hero.
I'm a huge fan of "The Big Bang Theory" and I remember an episode where Sheldon references "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" in a disparaging way. That along with a general negativity from many reviewers had put me off watching it despite the fact for a January movie release it made a lot of money. As it turns out I was pleasantly surprised by an inoffensive, simple comedy which started a bit shakily but turned into a bit of a guilty pleasure with Kevin James impressing.
So as I said "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" starts off a little bit shakily with plenty of generic humour. From Paul being the odd man out in amongst muscular cops at the police training facility to ending up in a fight with a large woman in a shop it is all simple stuff which does little to impress. What impresses more is Kevin James control of a Segway as we watch Blart ride to work on one as well as around the mall. In all honesty whilst the first half hour of "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" has plenty of humour it is the daft sort of humour which is kind of off putting.
But then it dispenses with the generic gags and obvious story ideas such as the single Paul falling for the pretty Amy and gets to the main storyline the "Die Hard" pastiche. It is where "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" really finds its rhythm with more original jokes which amuse a great deal more than the generic stuff which fills the beginning. But I have to say this isn't going to be for everyone as all the humour in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is safe and befitting of the PG certificate it was awarded. For me this actually added to the movie's surprising charm as it didn't rely on obnoxious characters, forced unfunny swearing or gross out humour.
But "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" works quite simply because of Kevin James who delivers a truly likeable character in a similar way to John Candy did during the 80s. It is because Blart comes across as such a nice guy despite being a sap that we warm to him and with Kevin James throwing himself into the role, quite literally as he does his own stunt work he is a larger than life fun character. But James is aided not only by a very recognizable supporting cast but also by Jayma Mays who is hard not to love with that innocent, wide eyed look which makes you melt.
What this all boils down to is that that "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is simply family friendly fun which truly is family friendly unlike some movies aimed at a young audience. It won't be for everyone because it is inoffensive but for those looking for simple comedy for all the family it is enjoyable.