When Kevin James unleashed his Segway skills with 2009s Paul Blart: Mall Cop no one really expected it to be the hit that it ended up being. With its success it was only a matter of time before a sequel was made, but as time passed it seemed unlikely until now. Now James is back on the case with the aptly titled Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 but can they capture the same goofy magic of the first film or will it be time to hang up the badge?
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 follows Blart and his daughter who head to Vegas for a much needed vacation after an invite to a security guard conference. The fun turns deadly when their vacation is sidelined thanks to a ruthless criminals plot to rob the hotel and Blart is forced back into action. Besides James, Raini Rodriguez returns as his daughter, but the new location allows them to bring an entire new cast to populate this latest case including Neal McDonough, D.B. Woodside, Loni Love and Gary Valentine who appeared in the original, but takes on a different and memorable role this time around. AS you can see with the trailers this is a pretty silly film and unfortunately most of it feels a lot more forced than the original. The original is pretty silly as well, but there is still something charming and fun about it. Sure you have to be a fan of James’ type of humor but here they just went too far over the top most of the time. Sure there are some really funny moments that do work later in the film, but it’s the rest of the film that makes it a struggle.
For some reason when they make these sorts of sequels they try to go bigger and here hurts the end product. They had a good formula and tried to mimic it, but veered off the rails so many times it just falls flat. A lot of the jokes aren’t all that funny and just fail to deliver. James is at home with this character and it could be a good franchise, but this one just went too far out there. James is a great comedic actor and with the first film created a great funny action character to play with, but isn’t given much more to do here other than be a buffoon. In the previous film he was given some great action moments to play with, but here they are all missing something with the exception on one ridiculous fight sequence near the end of the film that barely including him.
For those that loved the original film, you are likely to still find this one entertaining, but you aren’t going to get anything all that new. When it is funny it works, but there are sequences like the fight with the bird that is humorous but makes no sense at the time only to be a set up for a later joke that doesn’t work. This latest entry seems to still be doing good business, so maybe James will get the chance to revisit the character again and give it the follow up it deserves.