Paul Blart: Mall Cop DVD Review
Possibly the unanimated screen cousin followup to Kung Fu Panda, Paul Blart: Mall Cop answers the pressing question - Can a chubby guy be a superhero too - in the resounding affirmative. TV's King of Queens lovable working stiff Kevin James relocates to suburban Jersey in an even larger than life silly but good natured laughathon as the corpulent crimefighter mall cop in question, who's more than a little obsessive about cornering anyone shopping around for trouble.
Directed by Steve Carr (Daddy Day Care, Next Friday) and co-written by Kevin James, Paul Blart: Mall Cop stars James as the hapless 21st century Jackie Gleason, scorned and ridiculed both on and off the job, but not hearing any of it. Between nurturing elaborate fantasies of supersized superheroics, Blart spends a typical day running over a neighborhood dog tailgating his scooter on the way to work, directing civilians to exactly which stores the heated toilet seats are located in, and being subjected to a Victoria's Secret beatdown by an irate shopper dissing the slutty underwear.
Blart is also a single dad duped into a green card marriage by an even more rotund illegal alien femme fatale, who left him to raise preteen daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) alone. But he's showered with plenty of maternal doting, emotional support and platefuls of food at home by both Mom (Shirley Knight) and surrogate parentally inclined Maya.
And though the family is eager to match him up with a mate online, Blart wears his heart conspicuously on his sleeve at work, nursing a crush on perky wig saleslady Amy (Jayma Mays). But running interference on his courtship moves, is a gang of cutthroat shoplifters who show up one day, intent on conspiring a hostile takeover of the premises on skateboards, and committing assorted acts of mall malice.
Not to worry, Blart singlehandedly sets his sights on finally getting a chance to seriously show his stuff chasing down these athletic accomplices. Which includes making the most of his mountainous assets like gargantuan sliding and slithering around the mall, and flattening the felons with the advantage of his ample torso, when not beating up a perp with a handy tanning machine. He also gets a little help from a jar of some sort of wickedly spicy condiment called The Devil's Crotch, enough said.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop is an affectionate if often sitcomish ode to creative copping and mindless mall madness. In any case, James sweats it out lifting the material above the mundane and derivative, and nicely proves that in an emergency, size matters and extra large superheroes can rule.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
2 1/2 stars
DVD Features: Introducing the new eco-friendly ultralight DVD Case.
DVD & BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES: Fun on Set Outtakes; Deleted Scenes; Commentary with Kevin James and Producer Todd Garner; Kevin James: Not Your Average Mall Cop; Film Stunts; The Mall Experience Shoot; On Set with Mike Rooftop Escamilla: Behind-the-scenes footage from a pro BMX biker; Action Sports Junkies: A look at the film's extreme sports actors; Mall Cop Response: A mall security guard takes on a pro skater; Mike V. vs. Mall Cop: A pro skater takes on mall security while spray painting the mall; Free Running vs. Parkour: A look at the extreme sports of parkour and free running; Thoughts with Kevin James: Kevin James gives his random thoughts on malls, moustaches and how to become a mall cop; Sugar: Follows a free runner through the mall as he races to get Kevin James sugar for his coffee.
BLU-RAY EXTRAS: Digital Copy of the film for the PC, PSP™, Mac or iPod; Cinechat: Send onscreen messages to friends around the world while watching the movie together.
Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.
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