Paul Blart: Mall Cop (UK - BD)
Marcus watches Die Hard 5 and thinks John McClane might be past it now...
Paul Blart (Kevin James) is a Mall Cop, he’s in love with Amy (Jayma Mays) on the hair piece stall, he’s got hypoglycemia (which causes him to fall asleep if away from sugar too much) and he’s a comfort eater. Then his mall gets taken over by a group of skaters, skateboarders, free runners and a computer whizz (you know the worst kind of criminals) and it’s up to Paul alone to step in and stop them. Yippee ki-ay motherfucker!
I wanted to won over by Paul Blart Mall Cop, I really did. I was hoping it would be a bit of a curveball and not ending up being exactly like the trailers hinted at. I was hoping it would be like Grandma’s Boy (also produced by Sandler) and wind up being a whole lot of fun despite a tedious start. Sadly I was wrong. Paul Blart ends up being exactly what the trailers hinted at and probably worse than I expected.
Basically, this ain’t funny. It wants to be and I’m sure a lot of people have a lot of fun with it, but for me this didn’t even raise much beyond the odd smirk. The movie essentially comes down to shenanigans on a segway (that the director unfortunately never gets bored of showing off), ramming Blart’s delusional outlook down our throats and relying on the physical humour of an overweight security guard. Also it sticks religiously to the rule of having Blart, his family and his love interest Amy, the only nice characters and surrounding them, with a bunch of unlikable assholes just to force you to feel some affection for the 'good guys'.
With the second half of the movie leaving the first half’s mushy stuff behind and opting for a comedy (barely) take on Die Hard, Blart steps up as the lo-fi John Mclane, and if you thought it was unfunny before it gets even less so when the ‘action’ arrives. Even the usually funny hardcore action shot placed in for comic effect barely works and I just couldn’t let myself go with it all enough to get involved with the heist’s fallout. Seriously, if I see that Blart failed slide again (the one that the trailers so adore showing us), I might just vow never to watch another Kevin James movie (after this and Hitch it’s a close run thing anyway).
It’s one thing to believe that Paul Blart was such a huge hit in the US earlier in the year, but the fact this came out around the same time as Seth Rogan’s Observe and Report and Observe and Report barely lasted a week at the cinemas is mental. Admittedly Observe and Report isn’t exactly perfect, but in comparison to Paul Blart’s lazy, undercooked, fat people make things funnier approach, it’s a masterpiece.
Clean, bright, occasionally colourful and quite un-extraordinary. This, like the recent Zohan Blu-ray, is what I’d consider the sort of title that Sony use to show off their format in a showroom. It’s obviously way better than DVD can provide and it ticks all the HD boxes in regards to visuals, but on closer inspection there's just not enough going on beyond the clean image.
Skin textures are hinted at but never really on show beyond close ups and beyond a few areas in the mall, including a very impressive looking ball pool, details are a little lacking too. It’s a fine transfer, another solid one in the Sony catalogue, but essentially this is a brightly lit, fairly cheap comedy and it’s really nothing to get excited about in the visual department.
Once again this is a solid track with very little going on to truly impress. It’s balanced well, with music and dialogue sitting snugly together but there’s no real depth to it. No sense of the Malls shoppers, or the bars drinkers, there’s almost nothing dynamic going on and you’re certainly never going to have any moments where the bass gets a too punchy. Admittedly, this comes down to the genres limitations and I wasn’t expecting much more so all in all Paul Blart does its job well.
With the segway gags continuing, we get a little animated Blart rolling to selections (it’s still not funny). So rolling to the commentary first—which is with Kevin James and producer Todd Garner—we are given a track that is loaded with stories and opinions on every member of the cast, every element of set and every visual gag that’s on offer. It's an upbeat commentary and fairly consistent and compliments the movie well.
Hitting the featurettes (45:28 HD), which are split down into ten selections, we’re given a lot of quite typical extras for this sort of comedy. Showing the fun on set, getting a bit of insight into the free runners and sports junkies and all filled out nicely with lots of clips from the movie.
There’s ten deleted scenes (12:30 HD) all of which are more of the same and are mainly cut for time or their repetitive nature. The disc also comes loaded with BD Live and Cinechat (lots to talk about amongst Paul Blart fans?) and lastly there’s a trailer for Open Season 2.
Sony provide yet another solid Blu-ray release that does its job without being all that exciting. Fans should enjoy the features, especially the commentary, even if the majority of the rest is a little typical of the genre.
Paul Blart Mall Cop is a sweet enough experience but unfortunately I just didn’t find it funny... at all. This sort of thing just feels so tired and obvious to me and with a lead character that just feels like Kevin James is acting goofy rather than naturally being goofy. Overall, I can sort of see why viewers might like this goofy little outing but I just couldn’t buy into the movies undercooked nonsense enough to care about what was going on.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page.
Review by Marcus Doidge
General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
Release Date: 10th August 2009
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English, Audio Descriptive Service English
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Hindi
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Fun on Set, Commentary with Kevin James and Producer Todd Garner, Kevin James: Not Your Average Mall Cop, Stunts, The Mall, On Set with Mike ‘Rooftop’ Escamilla, Action Sports Junkies, Mall Cop Response , Mike V. vs. Mall Cop, Free Running vs. Parkour, Thoughts with Kevin James, Sugar. Digital Copy of the film for the PC, PSP™, Mac or iPod (BD Only) .CineChat (BD-Live)
Easter Egg: No
Director: Steve Carr
Cast: Kevin James, Keir O'Donnell, Jayma Mays
Length: 90 minutes