Paul Blart (Kevin James) is a rather pathetic fat man. Left by his wife with their child, and living with his mother, Blart is a security guard who takes his job much more seriously than circumstances warrant. When his mall is threatened in a scheme ripped directly from Die Hard, its up to the fat man on the Segway to save the day.
And while its rather innocuous family fun, Paul Blart is a bit of an odd film because it presents a sad man in perhaps the best light possible. While it may be one thing to cheer for the underdog, Blart is the sort of bland character were used to in family pictures like this. Kevin James has said in interviews that he invested a lot of who he is into the character, credited as one of the films writers, and if thats so then its a sad statement on him.
The film itself is one long screed of formula over 90 minutes; there are no surprises or shocking twists to be found. Its your standard “one man against an army of criminals” clichÃ©, a virtual replica of Die Hard, except in a mall and presented as a farce. And its absolutely terrible; every joke and possibility is underplayed and underdeveloped. James isnt a king of using the action movie one-liner and it shows; just because he can snarl doesnt mean hes necessarily good at it.
The film follows from James, ahem, and his leading performance as it uses every single action flick clichÃ© for drama and comedy and fails in both. Its one thing to successfully riff on the Die Hard formula, but this is a travesty.
Presented in widescreen format with a Dolby Digital format, the film has a terrific transfer. This is a film with a lot of color, and the transfer presents it wonderfully. The audio is top notch as well; there is a lot of ambient noise in the film given the context and it comes through terrifically.
Theres a Commentary Track featuring James and Producer Todd Garner.
The usual Deleted Scenes are included and cut for good reason. There are Previews for various Sony related titles as well.
There are also ten Featurettes that cover the entire filming process, from concept to release. For the most part the featurette series are fluff EPK pieces, running around 50 minutes combined, but they do cover some interesting subjects. The more interesting ones involve the “X-Games” athletes, who seem a bit more genuine and open then the rest of the cast and crew.
All the 80s one hit wonders crammed into one soundtrack can only get you so far. Eventually youll have to craft a good film. Paul Blart: Mall Cop isnt it.
Sony presents Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Starring Kevin James. Directed by Steve Carr. Written by Kevin James and Nick Bakay. Running time: 91 minutes . Rated PG. Released on DVD May 19th, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: Happy Madison, Kevin James