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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (Blu-ray)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (Blu-ray)
Sony Pictures // PG // July 14, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $38.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Francis Rizzo III | posted July 4, 2015 | E-mail the Author
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In 10 Words or Less
A movie that made me hate the idea of movies

Reviewer's Bias*
Loves: Comedies
Likes: Classic slapstick
Dislikes: What Happy Madison has become known for, aggressive physical comedy
Hates: The cinematic melding of Adam Sandler and Kevin James

The Movie
I took my wife and daughter to see the animated film Home a few months back, and being the early arrivers that we are, we were in our seats in a sea of holiday-freed film-going children and their (mostly) moms in time for the trailers. Most were for upcoming animated films, but then there was the preview for Kevin James' new adventure in mall security, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. I sat stone-faced, unimpressed by the over-the-top attempts at comedy, but the theater around me roared in approval as James slammed himself face-first into a plate-glass window. So, I thought to myself, this is what the people want.

Now that we've seen the movie (we decided to try it as a family) it's even worse than that trailer threatened. In the span of this feature film I chuckled a grand total of two times, both time for the same scene, which came very late in the game. Other than that, it's a very joyless experience, the kind of lowest-common-denominator catnip that may entertain less-discriminating audiences, but even my nine-year-old, to whom a good poop joke never gets old, said at the end of the film that watching Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 was a waste of time.

The film picks up a few years after the events of the first film, with Blart at a low point, having lost his wife and his mother. But he's got a big security convention coming up in Las Vegas, so he's got that to look forward to. Taking his daughter Maya (Austin and Ally's Raini Rodriguez) along, he sets out on a voyage full of pratfalls and loudness, but finds himself and his little girl mixed up with an international art-theft ring, which pits the Segue-riding rent-a-cop against a gun-wielding heist crew lead by their mastermind, Vincent (Neal McDonough.) And somehow, a man who passes out from low blood sugar is supposed to prevent a massive crime from taking place at Steve Wynn's hotel (while committing a much larger cinematic crime.)

Of course, this is just a stupid comedy, not a pretender to the Ocean's 11 legacy. However, it is extremely stupid. It wears its stupidity like a badge of honor, thinking that it deserves laughs simply by displaying an obese man on a scooter, a bird attacking that same obese man or that obese man punching an old woman. The word clever cannot and should not be spoken in connection with a film that takes its cues from the worst of Melissa McCarthy's work and dials up the aggressive physical "comedy".The height of the film's effort-free approach to laughs is mentioning the little-person cover band Mini Kiss, and then revealing them in a scene later on, but giving them almost nothing to do.

There are hints that something interesting could have been made here, though perhaps that's simply an accident, as a large fight scene toward the end of the film verges on entertaining. But with director Andy Fickman (a man responsible for a remarkable number of soft comedies with white-background posters) working from a script by James and his co-conspirator Nick Bakay, only the broadest of comedy is attempted, and then is supplemented by pure schmaltz. The relationship with his daughter is played straight, complete with late-game stabs at pathos, and no one misses an opportunity to remind Blart of his inadequacies in life and he will end up alone. Fun times!

The Discs
The film arrives on a single Blu-Ray disc and a DVD copy, which are in a standard-width, dual-hubbed Blu-Ray keepcase with a slipcover that repeats the cover art. The disc offers an animated menu, with options to watch the film, select scenes, adjust the set-up and check out the extras. Audio options include English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 DTS Surround and English and French DVS tracks, while subtitles are available in English, English SDH, Spanish, French, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Indonesian, Korean and Thai.

The Quality
The film may not be any good, but the quality of the presentation is, as the 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer is vibrant and clean, delivering every bit of the film's digitally-captured image with a high-level of fine detail and impressively rich color. The film takes place in Vegas, so there's a lot of eye-candy, which you get to see without any notable digital distractions marring the scene. Black levels are also deep, though a few of the darker scenes get slightly buzzy, betraying the movie's video origins.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track never really grabbed attention, but it doesn't have any downsides to it either, as the dialogue is clear, music is strong and the sound effects present. There's activity throughout the soundfield, with some panning and directionality during the more action-oriented moments, with appropriate activity in the low-end. If anything, it's the perfect pairing for the film--it's there.

The Extras
There's a large number of extras on this release, but most are quite brief. One thing that was interesting however is how involved the director of the film is. Almost like he didn't really have to focus on the movieā€¦

Up first is a 7:42 gag reel, which is just about as funny as the main feature, with plenty of mugging for the camera, gibberish from James, forgotten lines, falling pants and eating. The generally sense here is that James doesn't take production too seriously. Surprising.

Six deleted scenes are available (4:15), though they are mainly just extensions of moments currently in the movie, including an earlier reveal of the mall space, a more dramatic arrival of the casino security head (part of a subplot barely worth mentioning) and a drone chasing Blart (hysteri--no, no it's not.) That these exist indicates choices were made on the film, which is worth something I guess.

"La Reve" (4:49) focuses on a scene that takes place at a Cirque du Soleil-like show in Wynn's Las Vegas hotel. Some of the people involved in the show talk about the scene, as does Fickman, though not a tremendous deal is learned.

"Security Force: The Cast of Paul Blart 2" (4:55) looks at the actors through on-set footage and interviews, which center on the fun had on-set. If only that translated to the movie.

Fickman is back in "Action Adventure" (5:57) a piece about the stunt work on the film, showing how the moments were developed and executed. One stunt performer was injured in the process, which we get to bear witness to.

"Back in the Saddle" (1:58) is all about the film's signature Segue riding, with James' stunt double getting some spotlight.

The questionably-titled "How to Make a Movie follows Fickman as he looks around the sets, goofs around and introduces various crew members. For a further look behind the scenes, there's "No Animals Were Harmed" (2:15), which shows how the bird attack on Blart was created, which is actually kind of interesting.

"Sales Tactics" (3:27) is accidentally the most revealing extra here, as it looks at the trouble Richie Minervini has in delivering his lines for one small scene. For those who don't know, Minervini's acting career consists almost entirely of films by James, as the two are friends from James' stand-up days. That he cannot get a simple line out yet has been in six James films...draw your own conclusions as to the quality of the productions.

The featurettes wrap up with the 1:16 "Real Cops", in which a couple of "real cops" talk about the titular security guard. Like the movie, it's an attempt at comedy.

There's also a relatively extensive gallery of still photos, with controls for autoplaying at various speeds. In the package there's a code for a download/stream of the film.

The Bottom Line
I didn't think Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 would be any good from a look at the trailer, but the depths it plumbs were surprising. It's a cynical, joyless comedy that can be summed up as "Let's laugh at the fat guy." On Blu-ray, it looks and sounds quite nice, and there are a number of brief extras for anyone who needs more Fickman in their lives. However you owe it to yourself to watch just about anything else. (And on a side note, I hope Ana Gasteyer got a big payday for being anywhere near this movie.)

Francis Rizzo III is a native Long Islander, where he works in academia. In his spare time, he enjoys watching hockey, writing and spending time with his wife, daughter and puppy.

Check out 1106 - A Moment in Fictional Time or follow him on Twitter

*The Reviewer's Bias section is an attempt to help readers use the review to its best effect. By knowing where the reviewer's biases lie on the film's subject matter, one can read the review with the right mindset.

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