Friday, 18 September 2009

45: Twelve Movies - Paul Blart, Mall Cop

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Originally posted: 19 March 2009

12 Days: 12 Movies
(2009, 87mins, Dir. Steve Carr)

Put Simply: Like a fusion of Police Academy and Die Hard, but not as funny or clever as either.

Stars: Kevin James, Keir O'Donnell, Jayma Mays

Because laughing at a fat man falling over never gets old, right?

I'm... amazed, genuinely amazed, that a film this... average... got a cinema release in the US, let alone in the UK. It's set around the Thanksgiving holiday & Black Friday, and most Brits don't even know what that is, much less care. I, on the other hand, watch too much US output, so I'm familiar with both of those, although I can't say there's any emotional resonance there for me, y'know? Anyhow...
This has all (and I mean all) the hallmarks of the average US comedy. Let's count them off:

• Underdog, loser hero with a heart of gold and more conviction than most around him
• Pretty girl who he falls for, who happens to see beneath the surface of the hero
• Arsehole would-be love rival
• Hero's arsehole boss
• Semi-supportive friends who underestimate hero, but are still there to back him up
• Stock-characters SO generic, you can't remember their names. During the film.
• Clumsily placed props and plot points (ah-hah! you'd forgotten about the chilli-sauce bottle! Ah! Eh? Oh...)
• A plot so formulaic, you can set your watch by it
• People falling over. A lot.
• Of course there's a fucking happy ending.

It's really no surprise to see Adam Sandler's production company bank-rolling this. It's exactly the kind of movie that Sandler was making 10 years ago (except he was being, just... better). If it wasn't for the fact that the Kevin James wrote this and has the title role, I'd expect Sandler to have donned a fat-suit to try to re-kindle his former glories *cough*EDDIE MURPHY I'M LOOKING AT YOU*cough*

Ultimately, it's not actually a bad film, it's just been done so many times before, and so much better. It's movies like this that make me appreciate my Unlimited card. Harmless, but if I'd paid £7, I'd be fucking annoyed. I only went to see it because it's got "Blart" in the title. Wait until it's on TV. Shouldn't be long before Channel 5 buy it and show it on a Saturday afternoon...

Oh, and why is Keir O'Donnell like a genetic-splicing of Reece Dinsdale and Christian Slater? Without being as good as either? That kept throwing me off. And so did those bags under Jayma Mays' eyes - they should let her sleep during a shoot, jeez. Oh, and it's not filmed at the mall from Dawn of the Dead and Zack & Miri, either. No class.

I reckon: 5/10

Tomorrow: Love, Actually (probably - let's see how the day goes, eh? I might be in the mood for zombies)

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