Friday, April 17, 2015

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 [2015]

MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-1)  ChicagoTribune (1 Star) (0 Stars)  AV Club (C+)  Fr. Dennis (4 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (K. Jensen) review
ChicagoTribune (R. Moore) review (C. Lemire) review (J. Hessenger) review (T. Ryan) review

Okay, by any sentient being's estimation Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 [2015] (directed by Andy Fickman, screenplay by Kevin James and Nick Bekay) was gonna be a SILLY / "STUPID" MOVIE ;-).  But honestly SO WERE THE THREE STOOGES.  And though the venerable media critics considered to have "a special place" by the website GAVE THIS FILM a ZERO rating -- yes that's ZERO -- I'D WEAR THAT ZERO RATING as A BADGE OF HONOR.  I write this because IMHO this was ONE FUNNY (often PAINFULLY FUNNY) MOVIE ;-).

As in the 2009 original, Paul Blart (played perfectly / sincerely straight by Kevin James) is a RANDOM / UTTERLY AVERAGE security guy at a shopping mall, a "mall cop."  Who respects "mall cops"?  Nobody.  Who aspires to "one day grow-up to be a mall cop?"  Nobody.   But there he is, a mall cop, representing EVERYBODY who's ever found oneself (or finds oneself) in a job that IS PERHAPS NEEDED, but NOBODY really cares about.

... 'CEPT of course for someone like Paul Blart, who knowing, "okay I'm (just) a security guy at a shopping mall," STILL SINCERELY TRIES TO BE THE BEST "MALL COP" THAT HE COULD POSSIBLY BE.  Why?  Because THAT'S WHAT HE IS, a MALL COP.  And honestly, if you're not proud of who you are, who will be?   And then he has a family -- his beloved 70-80 y/o mother who gets actually run-over by a speeding milk truck SECONDS INTO THIS MOVIE as she reaches out into the street for the newspaper (probably MIS-THROWN there by some _careless paperboy_) one morning; and then his UTTERLY ADORABLE chubby but ALWAYS SMILING, now TEENAGE DAUGHTER Maya (played MAGNIFICENTLY by Raini Rodriguez) who LOVES him, even WORSHIPS him.  Why?  Because HE'S HER DAD.


I can honestly say that MY WORLD is FILLED WITH PAUL and MAYA BLARTS, good and often largely invisible people who WITHOUT THEM the world would be a much more difficult AND HONESTLY MUCH LONELIER PLACE.  AND AS AN ETERNAL "Associate" I know a thing or two about "not being a somebody."

Yet we're given (if we believe, by God...) what we're given and asked to do the best that we can with that.  (And we CAN ALWAYS do A LOT ... we CAN always CHOOSE to make the world around us a better place, NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE or ROLE / POSITION THAT WE HAVE ... ;-) ... LIKE "WRITE A BLOG" ;-) ;-)

The current film begins with Paul and Maya each getting surprising letters bearing "good news" in the mail.  Paul's invited TO BE HONORED at a NATIONAL CONVENTION OF MALL SECURITY PERSONEL (Yup, there appears to be truly a "National Assoc." for everything ;-) to be held in LAS VEGAS and MAYA gets a letter of acceptance to UCLA (the Blarts live in New Jersey ...) for college next year.

Paul's happy/ecstatic to have received his letter ("It's about time ... that I should be so honored" ;-), while Maya doesn't know how to break _her_ "good news" to her loving if over-protective dad.

Much, much, much, often corny but utterly heartfelt ensues ...

I'll also say here that James' timing in this film is phenomenal.  A lot of the jokes in the film are physical, yes, A LOT LIKE THE OLD HUMOR of THE THREE STOOGES.  And he honestly PULLS IT OFF, REPEATEDLY, OVER AND OVER AGAIN ... It's a film that makes one laugh-out-loud, REPEATEDLY, and at times makes one cry.

AND PARENTS, YES, THE "PG" RATING IS UTTERLY APPROPRIATE.  This film is for just about everybody!

So good job PAUL & MAYA!  Good job Kevin James / Raini Rodriguez, IMHO you really pulled this film off ;-)

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