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Paul Blart - Mall Cop (2009)

Posted: March 17, 2009 20:10:41 • 582 words

On a whim, my mom and I saw Paul Blart: Mall Cop this evening. I didn't have high expectations; the previews made the movie look rather dumb, and when LilPup & Spike saw it last week, they seemed less than impressed. So, I was expecting a movie full of stupid humour that I probably wouldn't remember in a week.

However, I thought it was an exceptionally good movie. Not in the sense that it was well-written (the plot was so far-fetched that I couldn't help but sigh), or well-made, but the underlying story was surprisingly heartwarming.

Basically, the movie is about this guy who's a real loser, who's been kicked around and never taken seriously his whole life, but he gets a chance to really shine and be the hero. Yet, unlike the typical Hollywood cliche where he completely saves the day, he kinda flubs it. A lot. It kinda reminds me of what would happen if a real, non-movie-written human were put in the same situation, which is part of the charm. At the same time, it's not the other Hollywood cliche where he's a completely laughable screw-up, because he does actually do some things right. It's hard to describe.

I guess what I'm getting at is that they portrayed the main character in such a way that made him very easy to connect with. He's not a complete screw-up, he's not a spontaneous hero, he's just a sweet-hearted average guy who has a lucky day, and he's much more of an "average guy" than most "average guy" characters in movies.

So, I really recommend this movie to everyone who can appreciate spectacular, unique character development despite a lame overall plot. It gave me all sorts of warm fuzzies :-)

Unfortunately, our movie experience was a bit tainted by some kids sitting behind us. They didn't kick our seats like kids typically do, but they quite clearly didn't understand the movie on an adult level, so they kept making all sorts of snide remarks heckling the main character. Now, for the most part, they only did this during parts where the whole theater was laughing, so telling them to shush would've been fairly pointless, but the things they said really bothered me.

For instance, the main character is rather overweight, and he has to do a number of action-movie-esque moves, like climbing over things. To his credit, he does these far better than a non-actor of equal size would, but he still has a lot of moments where he kinda looks like a beached whale (everyone who is or has been overweight knows what I mean). And, the character is fairly awkward in general, especially in crowds. So, every time he did something awkward on-screen, the kids behind us jeered him for it, all the way through to the last scene. Since I had really started to connect with the main character early on in the movie, to the point that I wanted to give him a big hug, this ticked me off enough that, by the end of the movie, I wanted to turn around and slap these damn kids.

It didn't help that I saw a lot of myself in Paul Blart, so combined with the juvenile taunts coming from behind me, I started having flashbacks to middle school. But, they pissed my mom off equally (she was the first to say something about them on the way to the car), so it wasn't just me being sensitive.