Last Saturday, I spent the worst two hours of my life seeing “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2:” a movie that by any measure qualifies as cinematic “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment. After watching this rotten excuse for a film, I am convinced that forcing terrorists to watch “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” on an endless loop would be an effective form of “enhanced interrogation.” Yet I would never wish this kind of torture on even the world’s most degenerate beings.
Imagine a slapstick comedy without the comedy (or a plot for the first half hour). Kevin James, in the titular role of the bumbling Paul Blart, incoherently mumbles, tumbles and stumbles through nearly every scene. In addition to having no chemistry with any other character, the frustratingly stupid Blart delivers stale self-deprecating jokes to a general audience and fails to provide any laughs, no matter how many times he emphatically waves his hands around in each scene.
But unlike jokes that become stale over time, these moments are bad to begin with and keep getting worse. Director Andy Fickman’s solution to initial jokes failing is similar to a plumber who keeps flushing a clogged toilet. The theater was all groans and no laughs when Fickman brilliantly decides to show close-up shots of Blart licking ice cream off the floor. Or how about when he depicts an old lady getting punched in the stomach? Dear Mr. Fickman, I sincerely wish that it were you suffering through that pain rather than a fictional character. My recommendation for achieving this: watch your own film.
The worst scene in “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” is when Blart engages in a fist fight with a bird. Offensively unfunny and excruciating to watch, it is also seeminglessly endless. The length of “Bird v. Blart” along with its disorienting close-up shots of both its subjects, unintentionally make for a surreal intermission within the film itself: a meta-moment where audience members can ask themselves, “why am I watching this?” Although one of many unfunny scenes, and this is a movie trying to make comic relief out of an old woman getting hit by a milk truck, the “Bird v. Blart” scene deserves recognition as a cinematic turd within its own existence, much like the Beezel the Cat sketch from “Movie 43”, the umbilical cord scene in “Freddy Got Fingered” and the entirety of “Bio-Dome.”
I would never advocate censorship, but watching “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” makes me question even that. There are so many other things wrong with this atrocious attack on humanity, but I can only say so much. Perhaps Macbeth put it best; “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”