In the original 2009 movie Blart (Kevin James) was living the life of a security guard—excuse me, Security Officer—at New Jersey’s West Orange Pavilion Mall after failing the physical portion of his State Trooper’s exam. He was a lovesick loser, unlucky at love and life.
Things have changed a bit since then. He’s still working security, but is flying high off his last major caper, single-handedly taking on a group of thugs who took over the mall and held his lady love hostage on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.
In the new film he’s in Las Vegas attending the Security Officer’s Convention. Tagging along is daughter (Raini Rodriguez) a teen working up the courage to spill the news that she’s leaving home for university in Los Angeles. On what should be one of the greatest nights of his life—delivering the keynote speech at the convention—duty calls when a disgruntled high roller (Neal McDonough), who lost a bundle on his last visit to the casino, kidnaps Blart’s daughter and attempts to recoup his money by stealing priceless art from the Wynn Hotel.
You have to wonder why Kevin James waited six years to make a Paul Blart sequel. After seeing number two I’m tempted to think it was to give people enough time to forget how brutally unfunny the first movie was. You have to hand it to him, however. With “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” he’s managed to top the first movie, making a comedy even more relentlessly unfunny than the first one.
There are, to be generous, about three laughs in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” all of which can be viewed in the trailer. The other 89 minutes are filler. The audience I saw it with seemed to be laughing out of pity rather than because anything in the movie is actually amusing.