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Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/15/2015
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/9/2015
In my recent review for The Pact II, I wrote about unnecessary sequels. This can refer to sequels to films which ended with a nice, tidy finale which didn't warrant a second (or third, or whatever) movie, or a sequel that for which seemingly no on in the general public was asking. It's very easy to accuse these films of being "cash-grabs" and most of them appear very quickly after the previous film. However, occasionally, one of these movies shows up late to the party, and this not only leaves us to wonder "Why did they make this?", but "Why did they wait so long to make it?". As Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 shows up some six years after the original, these questions certainly apply here.
InPaul Blart: Mall Cop, we were introduced to the titular character, played by Kevin James. This mild-mannered New Jersey shopping mall security guard was forced to become a hero when a gang of robbers invaded the mall. As the new film opens, we find that Blart has gone through a rough patch since then. His wife left him after a very brief marriage and his mother died. Now, it's just Paul and his daughter, Maya (Raini Rodriguez), and the fanfare of his big day has been all but forgotten. Things look up when Paul is invited to attend a security guard conference in Las Vegas. With Maya in tow, Paul hits the conference, convinced that he is getting a special award, and meets some of his fellow guards. Meanwhile, Vincent Sofel (Neal McDonough) and his crew are planning to rob the hotel, focusing on a Van Gogh. When Paul learns not only of this, but that Maya is in danger, he calls upon his colleagues for help and springs into action.
While Paul Blart: Mall Cop was not a good movie, it was not the train wreck that it could have been and it did supply some laughs. However, it never moved beyond its comfort zone of "fat guy security guard does slapstick and becomes a hero". While it was nice to see a (fairly) family-friendly action-comedy, the movie was incredibly lightweight. James fit the role very well and the movie was about one would expect from Adam Sandler's production company.
And we would expect more of the same from the sequel, right? Why mess with a good thing? Well, you would be correct as Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 picks up where the first film left off in terms of tone and comedy. We get plenty of "Blart is inept" jokes, as well as a helping of "Blart is fat" jokes, and not much more. Blart is just as vapid as in the first film and his lack of self-awareness gets him into all kinds of trouble. The problem here is that the film isn't particularly funny. As you know, part of the formula of comedy is the element of surprise and the jokes here simply don't have that. Again, we've seen the first film, so we know exactly where the "comedy" is coming from and there is nothing new here. Blart is fat, Blart is clumsy, Blart falls down a lot -- we know that this is going to happen, therefore, it isn't funny. The only time that I actually laughed was when Blart and Sofel are having a verbal duel to see who is crazier and Blart throws out a non-sequitir that is so bizarre that I had to laugh.
The lack of comedy aside, as you can imagine, the other issue with the film is the story, which is essentially, “What if Paul Blart encountered Ocean’s Eleven (sort of )?” So, we get a group of stereotypical thieves who are lead by McDonough, who is playing a very one-dimensional villain, despite his heterochromia iridum. When the time comes, and we all know that it's coming, Blart goes up against some of the henchmen in very light combat, like something that we would see on a sitcom. Then, Blart leads his newfound cohorts into battle against the bad guys, in a fight scene which goes on for a surprisingly long time. The movie also tries to have a sensitive side by having Blart fret over Maya. Not only is this unoriginal, she is incredibly annoying.
But, it doesn't matter what I say. Movies like Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 are review-proof. The movie made $68 million at the U.S. box office. You would think that six years later, audiences would have no interest in Paul Blart, but that's clearly not true. And in truth, there is nothing wrong with the movie in the sense that it's not offensive or mean-spirited. However, American audiences should demand more from their dumb comedies.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 plays like a commercial for Segways on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 25 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good, as the image never looks soft and the depth is adequate. Basically, this looks like a modern-day mid-budget movie. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The track really comes to life during the second half, most notably during the fight scene and the finale. These scenes offer strong stereo and surround sound effects, as well as good subwoofer action. The rest of the film provides fairly standard sound.
The Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Blu-ray Disc contains a staggering amount of extra features, most of which could have been edited into a single featurette. We begin with a GAG REEL (8 minutes), which shows how serious this affair is going to be. The Disc contains six DELETED SCENES which run about 4 minutes. These are all brief and don't include any new characters or subplots. "Security Force: The Cast of Paul Blart 2" (5 minutes) offers quick comments from the various actors who talk about their characters. "Action Adventure" (6 minutes) takes us on-set to see how several of the stunt sequences were shot. "Back in the Saddle" (2 minutes) has James showing off his skills on a Segway. We get to see Director Andy Fickman at work on the set in "How to Make a Movie" (4 minutes). "Le Reve" (5 minutes) provides extra footage and behind-the-scenes footage of the Vegas show which features into the film. The Blart vs. bird fight scene is profiled in "No Animals Were Harmed" (2 minutes). "Sales Tactics" (3 minutes) is simply a series of bloopers from one shot. "Real Cops" (1 minute) has two unidentified people talking about Blart. The final extra is a "Photo Gallery".
Review Copyright 2015 by Mike Long