Critics Are Having a Lot of Fun Destroying ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’

paul_blart_2Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 hits theaters today, and as you might’ve guessed, it’s not getting the warmest reception from critics. Currently holding strong at an impressive 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, the Kevin James-starring sequel to the 2009 box office hit has received a lukewarm critical response at best, but most online reviewers haven’t held back from panning the film for its lack of laughs (save for some silly slapstick and CG jokes), director Andy Fickman, and setting at a Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas (New York Daily News calls the movie “basically an hour-and-a-half commercial for Wynn”). Here’s a roundup of what critics are saying:

Variety: “Nothing aired by WikiLeaks could possibly be more destructive to Sony’s reputation than the release of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the sort of movie that goes beyond mere mediocrity to offer possible evidence of a civilization in decline.”

Time Out: “Cinema lovers, you should thank God for Kevin James. This oft-ridiculed screen giant is here to answer a question that has plagued mankind for decades now: what would a film be like if every single person involved made as little effort as humanly possible?”

The Dissolve: “With Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, James has made the same joyless, laugh-free comedy twice, albeit this time in a more fun location. Perhaps he’ll finally sort it out by the time he shoots the final entry in the Paul Blart: Mall Cop trilogy, 2021’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop 3.”

Vulture: “In the first film, a group of hooligans out for a Black Friday heist at the local mall took Maya and Blart’s then-object-of-affection hostage; this time, it’s a group of tech-savvy art thieves who take Maya and a boy she’s interested in hostage. Before, Blart was looked down upon by the New Jersey State Police, who didn’t think of him as a real security pro; this time, it’s a sneering Vegas security team led by Eduardo Verástegui. Time is a flat circle, and so is this fucking movie.”

New York Post: “Is it never funny? No, it’s not never funny. It’s just not funny nearly often enough. I laughed when he ran face-first into a plate glass window like a cartoon character, and at a drawn-out gag about a man eating a horrifyingly brown banana. But that’s two minutes out of 94.”

Chicago Tribune: “Sequels are cynical by nature, but this one, with its casino product placement ad and director Andy Fickman apparently checking his text messages instead of trying punch the limp gags into shape, is purely a paycheck. James may not deserve better, but the kids they’re pitching this to do.”

The Wrap: “The humor level in the film is so moribund that it doesn’t even inspire groans or eye-rolling; instead, it figuratively puts its hands on your shoulders and pushes you deeper into your theater seat until you’ve been completely subdued by all the nothingness it has to offer. Cinematically speaking, it’s like having a riot squad beanbag shot directly at your solar plexus.”

JoBlo: “There’s really absolutely nothing about Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 that makes it worth watching.”

Consequence of Sound: “Perhaps there’s a clever way to get at how painful an experience this movie is. And believe me: you know the reclining chairs they’re installing in some of the higher-end theaters these days? I was flat on my back, motionless, almost comatose watching this, waiting for it all to be over… and I’m not just talking about the movie. There was a point where I was considering writing a will because this film made me want to leave this Earth, because I don’t want to live on a planet where Paul Blart shills Sony products and airsoft guns.”

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