Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2: Tears of a Clown

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

I have a confession to make: I like watching bad films. I take a sort of impish glee from seeing them, rolling my eyes and making snarky comments with my friends on the ride home. My ideal date is sitting at home, watching “Birdemic” or “Battlefield Earth.” I’ve seen “The Room” in theaters. My hobby has given me a niche at the Highlander, and it’s almost weekly that I sit at my computer and perform an autopsy on whatever terrible film I saw that week. I pick it apart, figuring out where and how badly things went wrong, and it gives me a cathartic release of mean-spirited energy that makes me a much more pleasant person in real life.

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” ruined my hobby. It is ruined. I hate films now. All of cinema, as a whole, is dead to me. I remember, seeing previews in theaters, laughing, picturing myself dissecting Kevin James’ most recent cinematic bowel movement. If only I knew, I would have run for cover and re-evaluated my life. I was a fool, and now the tsunami of awful cinema has washed over me. I have never been more envious of Helen Keller. I don’t even want to write this review, because in doing so I’m forced to relive a real-life nightmare. This review isn’t my typical autopsy of a recently deceased film. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” was born dead.

The film concerns monster Paul Blart, played by the completely oblivious Kevin James, going on vacation and being a sexist, domineering jackass. During his time in Las Vegas, he foils a plot to steal art by a group of generically evil villains who have the resources of a huge organization but with worse aim than stormtroopers. However, this B-grade Scooby-Doo plot serves only as a backdrop to Blart’s internal struggle to overcome his crippling loneliness. After trying to bend everyone close to him to his unrealistic demands fails, he accepts the fact that he is a terrible human being and bids farewell to everyone in his life. I’m looking forward to the sequel that involves him losing his job due to his inevitable alcoholism and ends with a head-to-head collision on a major thoroughfare.

Aside from the fact that it was greenlit by the Illuminati in the hopes that it would remove the general populace’s will to live, the film has two major faults. The most glaring of these is that the film is a comedy that is not in the slightest bit funny. Every line of humor is either F-grade slapstick that would make the Three Stooges roll over in their graves, or is at someone else’s expense. While this is fine, the jokes are incredibly toothless and have the timing of a broken metronome. Comedy needs to be succinct and punctual, and every joke that may have had the slightest bit of humor is stretched into oblivion, and then stretched some more in an effort to ruin the idea of laughter for anyone unfortunate enough to be within five miles of the theater. I would rather watch “Schindler’s List” with an inappropriate laugh track thrown in than see this film.

The second major flaw is characters — in that there doesn’t seem to be any. I can’t relate to the protagonist, because he’s a clueless plebian with less self-awareness than an amoeba. The villains are only nefarious for plot convenience. The female characters, of which there are three, are all terrible archetypes circa the 1700s. Blart’s daughter is goofy and only cares about hanging out with hunky boys. The African-American security guard is a sassy black woman because God forbid we have a person of color who has character traits beyond saying “mm-hmm” or “I heard that!” The hotel manager is a lovesick mess who is so overtaken by Blart’s sexiness that she can barely do her job. Women, right? They’re unable to hold a job because their ovaries make them all crazy and nonsensical. This film would be less misogynistic if it was an advertisement advocating revoking women’s suffrage.

Now, there are bad movies. Movies like “The Room” that are so ineptly nonsensical that they become works of art. There are also bad films like “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and “The Phantom Menace” that serve as the nail in the coffin for beloved franchises. The thing is, films like that serve to only betray a core of diehard fans, while “Mall Cop 2” has somehow managed to betray the entire film-going public. I only feel worse when I realize I actually paid money for the ticket. Had I known that “Mall Cop 2” would have been this bad, I would have pirated it and then burned my house down.

Please, if you have any sense or dignity, do not see this film. Life is just too short and your time and money too valuable to waste. Call your parents. Have a drink with an old friend. Tell your crush how you feel. We’re only here on Earth for a limited amount of time. Don’t even finish reading this review, as this movie is not worth anyone’s time. Don’t even waste any more thoughts thinking about this film. It’s too late for me, but it may not be for you. Don’t cry for me, I’m already dead. Cause of death: “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.”

Rating: 0 stars

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