Premise:A socially awkward security guard at a mall is the only one left inside to save hostages from a gang of crooks.
Cast:Kevin James as Paul Blart, Jayma Mays as Amy, Raini Rodriguez as Maya Blart, Keir O'Donnell as Veck Sims, Bobby Cannavale as Commander James Kent, Shirley Knight as Paul's mom, Stephen Rannazzisi as Stuart, full cast can be found here.
MPAA Rating:PG for some violence, mild crude and suggestive humor, and language
Notes:Poster taken from IMDB. Updated 12/29/2016 to add more notes about the content problems.
Pros:Decent protagonist. Some funny moments. The soundtrack.
Cons:Bad acting. Glorifies stalking. One obnoxious character. Clunky exposition. Small things that don't make sense.
Paul Blart is not doing so well. He failed to become a cop like he wanted, people love to mock him, and he has yet to find a girlfriend (though that new saleswoman is pretty cute).
Paul himself does make a good underdog character. Even though he takes his job just a little too seriously, he has good intentions and he's tougher than he looks. The love interest Amy didn't get a whole lot of depth (though to her credit, she does help out when things go south). And it was creepy that Blart was watching her on the security cameras, poisoning was could have been a sweet exchange. In addition, part of the plot involves a guy who's having so much trouble letting go of his girlfriend that he's tracking her phone. And yet they still get back together in the end credits.
There's also the love rival who's only purpose is to be a jerk towards the protagonist and hit on the love interest. The absolutely charmless character in question isn't unlikable in a "hope he gets his comeuppance" kind of way, more like "I wish he wasn't in the movie". (Incidentally, the "jerk getting what he deserves" concept was better played out with a different character.)
Overall, I want to like this movie, but it doesn't try hard enough for that.
Sex & Nudity:As mentioned, Blart gets a crush on a hair stylist named Amy. He asks her "Do you do men?", then stammers about whether she does men's hair. And at one point, he starts talking sweet about her while his radio is still on. Other guys also express interest in her.
Paul's ex-wife married him to get a green card, then left after their daughter was born. Two women get into a dispute over the last push-up bra of a certain size in Victoria's Secret. One (who's fat) says she has a date that night, while the other quips "Is he blind?" Blart is called in and he ends up fighting one of them, who has her shirt pulled up and her bra showing for a lot of it (which is played for humor more than titillation).
There's a kiss between the main couple, of course. A (shirtless) boy talks about his ex-girlfriend, complete with stalker shrine. He's upset that another man might be "sweating over her right now", and says she has sexy feet. One of Paul's friends gives him hot sauce branded the Devil's Crotch. While drunk, a guy gets a tattoo near his butt and apparently tried to make out with a woman's purse. Some of the background songs reference sex and infidelity. A video games show a woman in a sexualized referee get-up.
Violence:Paul Blart's biggest physical weakness is his hypoglycemia. If he doesn't eat sugar regularly, he passes out. He nearly gets run over by a scooter, tussles with a angry customer (which is complicated by his refusal to hit women), runs into the back of a parked car, is chased by a dog (which he runs over by accident), tries to jump onto a moving van, and gets plastic balls thrown at him. More seriously, the bad guys voice intentions to kill him and hostages. A guy mentions setting Blart on fire in high school.
Crooks do parkour and are knocked out through various means. One stabs an air duct when Blart is inside. Glass windows and doors are run into and shattered. People are threatened with guns (which are sometimes fired) and grenades, and beaten with various objects (including metal poles, skateboards, and hockey sticks).
Someone gets hot sauce in his eye. When the main villain sees someone dangling by a rope, he says he'd love to bust the guy open and see how much candy would come out. He also mentions Bonnie and Clyde dying in a hail of gunfire. Part of a building is blown up. Guys fall through a skylight.
Drugs/Alcohol:People congregate in a bar. Paul states he doesn't drink. But he does mistake a pitcher of margaritas for lemonade, which results in him being drunk, obnoxious, and (later on) embarrassed.
Language/Insults:Fairly frequent use of "a**", "h*ll", and "G*d". Insults include "m*ron", "pathetic", "loser", "idi*t", "scumbag" and "brain dead". Fat jokes are made, especially about Paul.
Gross stuff:Paul apparently has a sweating problem, which is talked about. During a stressful moment, he tells himself "Don't pee." And when his hypoglycemia nearly makes him pass out during a bad moment, he's forced to eat dirty candy from off the floor.
Spiritual & related topics:It's mentioned a donut shop gives the leftovers to a mission. An Indian statue of some sort appears in the stalker shrine. A guy refers to his ex as an "angelic goddess". A drunk man shouts "I believe in magic!"
Other:Most of the people of color in the film are stereotypes. The worst example is Paul's ex, who was an illegal immigrant who married him just to get a green card. We see a picture of her and Paul with sombreros on a donkey.
So what was your opinion?
© 2015 by M.R.R.