Kevin James' rent-a-cop moves from a suburban shopping mall to a Las Vegas casino in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the sequel to the 2009 flick that topped the box office. Sadly, critics are wishing James never hopped back on the Segway. Here's what they're saying:
- The first flick was mildly funny, but this sequel is a "painfully unfunny, slapdash follow-up in which the title character is so relentlessly obnoxious that you'll be cheering for the villains," Frank Scheck writes at the Hollywood Reporter. James tries hard to be funny, but “he's completely adrift here. He also has to bear a large part of the blame since he co-wrote the screenplay.”
- Sara Stewart describes the flick as “a blur of weak slapstick, one over-dyed mustache, and vague sexism, ageism, and sizeism.” A barely-there plot—in which Blart’s daughter is kidnapped by a corrupt NSA agent—is only there so that Blart can repeatedly “bluster, then screw up humiliatingly,” which is “just not funny nearly often enough,” she writes at the New York Post. To top it all off, the script is "is running on the fumes of better movies."
- And the bashing continues: Donald Clarke at the Irish Times says Mall Cop 2 is "so mordantly witless that it has the quality of a bleak art-house tragedy" and "adds to the looming sense that mainstream US cinema comedy is deep in a Dark Age." If any moviegoer "emerges from the cinema with thumbs still opposable and frontal lobes intact then it should be accounted a small victory," he writes.
- "It’s not that the film is particularly loathsome, or that Blart is an overweeningly horrible character," writes Robbie Collin at the Telegraph. "What rankles is that he’s barely anything at all; a stereotype of a stereotype; a half-remembered punchline; a stomach with a mustache and wheels." Plus, the physical comedy "isn’t physical at all, but computer-generated, or at least augmented," he writes. "As you watch the film, it’s already forgotten."
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