February 11, 2009
By Bethany Snelson
8 ½ out of 10: Great for a night of stress relief.
A couple of weeks ago, the box office had a surprise winner for the movie that grossed the most money. Paul Blart: Mall Cop managed to beat out films such as Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and Inkheart to nab the number one spot. Even more amazing, it managed to hold onto to it for two weeks straight. Only recently was it knocked down by the thriller Taken.
What made it so appealing to the audiences? It can only be the heart. When we are first introduced to the main character, he's trying out for a spot on the police force that he fails to get, sending him back to his normal life with his caring, but pushy daughter and mother and his depressing job at the mall.
Yet, one really gets to see how much Paul loves his job as a security guard as he shows a new recruit around the mall. However, also visibile is his tendency to resist conflict and his inability to stand up for himself.
A love interest in the form of new vendor named Amy, played by Jayma Mays, enters the picture. Paul manages to completely blow it with her, and, depressed, he decides to blow off steam in the arcade. While he jams away on Rock Band, his mall is infiltrated and taken over. Amy and some of his friends are taken hostage. Paul Blart then has to step up and save the day.
Though the takeover of the mall does not happen until about a third of the way through the movie, the first third is by no means wasted. It is the time when one really get to know the loveable character that is Paul Blart. Kevin James, who also wrote the movie, plays him with such an endearing quality and even while Blart is being knocked down, he brings laughs.
He also plays the quirks in a way that make the character seem more real, such as his spouting historical facts in a way to impress Amy. And when the character starts to defend his home turf, one has no problem believing that the rather sad Paul could become the hero, because it is apparent that he had it in him all along.
Some of the best moments in the film are those when he is pursuing Amy. Mays does a surprisingly good job of showing a quiet yet strong woman who sees beneath the exterior of Paul Blart. The film does have its problems though. Some of the parts concerning his family feel randomly placed. The film would have been just as good without those in there
However, what tied the movie altogether was its comedy. Most of it comes when Paul Blart is running around the mall trying to defeat the invaders and save the girl. How does he fix a small cut? With a hello kitty Band-Aid. Priceless.
Overall, Paul Blart is a guranteed stress reliever and a situation comedy to lose oneself in. See it to stamp out those winter blues.