Paul Blart: Mall Cop

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Review byMatthew Turner18/03/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

With a handful of inspired gags and a likeable performance by Kevin James, this is an enjoyable comedy-thriller that plays like a parody of Die Hard, though it should have been a lot funnier.

What's it all about?
Directed by Steve Carr, Paul Blart: Mall Cop (something of a sleeper hit in the States) stars Kevin James as overweight mall security guard Paul Blart, whose hypoglycemia prevents him from achieving his dream of becoming a state trooper because he keeps passing out at inopportune moments. Blart lives with his mother (Shirley Knight) and his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) and spends his days pining over hair accessories stall-owner Amy (Jayma Mays), but when a group of free running thieves break into the mall and take hostages, it's up to our tubby hero to save the day.

The Good
Kevin James is superb in the lead, keeping Blart both sympathetic and likeable, despite the fact that his character is frequently pathetic and occasionally obnoxious. James proved that he was a gifted physical comedian in Hitch, but he really goes for it here, whether he's dancing drunkenly around a bar, performing some ridiculous stunts or just zipping around on his Segway (and, somehow, making it look cool).

There's also strong support from Jayma Mays (whose eyes are so big, she's practically an anime character) and Adhir Kalyan as a tech-savvy teen who proves unexpectedly useful when Blart borrows a mobile phone.

The Bad
The comedy works best when it's explicitly parodying Die Hard, particularly Blart attempting an action slide (and coming up short) or patching up a wound (which turns out to be a tiny cut) with a Band Aid. Unfortunately, these are the best two gags and they're both in the trailer – it's just a shame that the rest of the comedy isn't quite up to that standard, relying instead on some largely unsuccessful humiliation comedy, such as Blart getting drunk or Blart getting beaten up by an overweight woman.

Worth seeing?
Paul Blart: Mall Cop is an enjoyable comedy with some good gags and a likeable performance from James. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 21/01/2019 14:10

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