MOVIE CORNER

January 19, 2009

6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop – $13.6M

Filed under: Box Office Stats — movie_critic @ 3:06 am

IN THEATRES JANUARY 16, 2009: Coming off the finale of television’s popular sitcom THE KING OF QUEENS and 2007’s I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY, funnyman Kevin James takes the role of a single dad in this largely physical comedy, which the actor also co-wrote. Paul Blart (James) is a hard worker, but has never landed his dream job of being New Jersey state trooper due to his excess weight. Determined to support his mother and his daughter, Blart takes the slightly less glamorous post as the security guard at his local shopping mall. He never complains, approaching the job with impressive diligence and pride, but doesn’t get much respect for it. It’s only when a group of misfits in Santa’s Helper disguises take hold of the mall and several hostages that Blart’s would-be cop smarts come in handy and he gets a chance to shine. With a deadly situation on hand, Blart may finally be able to show the world (and his romantic interest, who just happens to be one of the hostages) what he’s made of. Though the villains have several advantages over him, Blart has a Segway scooter and a big heart on his side. <br><br>While many of its jokes come at the expense of James’s extra pounds, the film ultimately makes its star out to be a hero. With his everyman appeal, James is well-suited to play Blart, showing that even average Joes can make a difference with the right attitude. PAUL BLART: MALL COP takes the banal out of the shopping mall, infusing a familiar setting with energy, laughs, and high-stakes drama.

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