If you liked ‘Home Alone’ you’ll enjoy ‘Mall Cop’

2009-03-16 00:00

FILM: Paul Blart: Mall Cop


THE first half hour of Paul Blart: Mall Cop had me thanking a higher power that I hadn’t paid for the ticket, but then the film seemed to change gear and was actually almost fun to watch.

It quite deliberately parodies the Die Hard movies that made Bruce Willis a household name, but it does so in a way that will keep the strictest Mother Grundy happy. There’s no swearing and the action sequences owe more to MacGyver and The A-team than to The Fast and the Furious and XXX.

Paul (Kevin James) is an overweight mall cop who dreams of being a state trooper. Unfortunately he has hypoglycaemia, which means he tends to collapse at inopportune moments if he doesn’t keep his blood sugar regulated. His condition has led him repeatedly to fail the physical exam to allow him to join the force.

After his latest failure he meets and falls for Amy (Jayma Mays), who runs a kiosk at the shopping mall where he works. Hoping to get to know her better, he joins colleagues from the mall at a bar, but then has one margarita too many.

Nursing a hangover and feelings of remorse, he finds himself alone when a gang of bad guys takes over the mall on the busiest day of the shopping year. They take several hostages, including Amy and Paul’s daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez), and Paul realises it’s up to him to save the day.

It’s the action sequences, in which Paul does his John McClane, Die Hard-style rescue, that stop the film from being utterly forgettable and the sequence in the Rainforest Café, where he sets a series of traps for the bad guys, is inspired.

It’s not a great movie by any means, but, if you enjoyed the family-friendly Home Alone capers and films of a similar nature, then you’ll love this. **

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