Mild-mannered Paul Blart has always had huge dreams of becoming a State Trooper. Until then, he patrols the local mall as a security guard. With his closely cropped moustache, personal transporter and gung-ho attitude, only Blart seems to take his job seriously. All that changes when a team of thugs raids the mall and takes hostages. Untrained, unarmed and a super-size target, Blart has to become a real cop to save the day.
Blundering, but well-meaning mall cop tries to be John McClane (“Die Hard”) An affable mall officer in New Jersey (Kevin James) takes his job seriously while taking care of his daughter and pursuing a cute kiosk attendant (Jayma Mays). When the mall is taken over by a gang of organized thugs, can Paul Blart rise to the challenge? Whether or not you’ll like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” (2009) will depend on if you appreciate Kevin James and his goofy, unprofane brand of humor, as depicted in The King of Queens, “Zookeeper” (2011) and “True Memoirs of an International Assassin” (2016). While it’s not as good as “Zookeeper,” it’s not far off. After the first 25 minutes or so you’ll find yourself engrossed in Paul’s life; you understand him and like him. You feel for the man as he gazes longingly at a receipt with the handwritten name of his romantic interest. And you’ll root for him and laugh when a serious threat engulfs the mall. Keir O'Donnell plays Paul’s greenhorn partner, Veck. He’s reminiscent of a young Tim Roth. In other news, Mays has the cutest wide-eyed face. The film runs 1 hour, 31 minutes and was shot entirely in Massachusetts (Burlington, Braintree, Peabody, West Roxbury and Bedford). GRADE: B