Review: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” was inevitable. Its predecessor proved to be one of the surprise hits at the box office in 2009, with the film grossing over $146 million in cinemas. Something else that was inevitable was that the sequel would fail to live up to the same standard.

Set six years after the events of the first, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 sees the Segway-riding security guard (Kevin James) attending a security convention in Vegas with his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriquez) before she heads off to college – a decision that she has yet to tell her father.

However, Maya and her friend Lane (David Henrie) are kidnapped by international art thief Vincent (Neal McDonough) after stumbling upon his plans to ransack the hotel. It’s up to Blart, along with his fellow convention delegates, to save the day.

Aside from a bizarre opening sequence in which two non-returning characters (Blart’s wife and mother) are obstinately written out, the first act is incredibly slow paced. This is primarily due to the focus on the father-daughter relationship, which dominates the film’s 94 minute running time.

In doing so, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 fails to give a sufficient amount of screen time to its antagonists. It’s only when they become significant to the plot that the pacing picks up and the film becomes more enjoyable. Although it’s a shame the same can’t be said for the humour.

Predictably, the film (which was co-written by Kevin James and Nick Bakay) heavily relies on James’ character falling over at any and every given opportunity. This includes running into clear glass windows, an encounter with an exotic bird and Blart’s low blood sugar levels. While this slapstick approach generates the occasional laugh (more so for the younger viewer), it’s certainly more miss than hit.