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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Paul Blart: Mall Cop


Starring: Kevin James, Jayma Mays, Keir O'Donnell and Peter Gerety
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: PG
Available 10 August 2009

Paul Blart struggles with both his weight and his unfortunate hypoglycaemia, which makes him pass out at the most inconvenient moments. His greatest dream is to become a state trooper, but his physical condition makes this impossible. So Blart works as a mall cop, spending his days taking care of the shoppers and looking with romantic longing at Amy. Blart’s life seems to be condemned to mediocrity until that Mall is taken over in a daring raid. Paul now has his chance to step up to the plate and show what sort on man he is. But, can he save the love of his life before he passes out...?

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009 - 1 hr, 30 min, 58 sec) is an action comedy directed by Steve Carr (Daddy Day Care (2003)) from a script by Kevin James and Nick Bakay. The film was created under the watchful eye of Adam Sandler.

There is no denying that the whole reason for the film’s production was as a vehicle for Kevin James’s comedic talents. James has tried a number of times to break away from the success he found on the small screen in The King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond, which has included stints in Hitch (2005) and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007). Taken on this level the film succeeds in its mission. Although I hate comparisons, if this film had been made twenty years ago it would have been an ideal vehicle for the late John Candy, and if you’re familiar with his work, you’ll pretty much know what you’re getting here.

Blart is not a loser as such; he is loved by his mother and daughter, the offspring of a brief liaison with a woman looking for a green card, who abandoned them both when she gained citizenship. He possesses a heart of gold but not the social skills or confidence to ask Amy out on a date. Having established him as a loveable misfit the film's job is to take Blart from zero to hero. The way the film makers have decided to do this is to create a most unlikely heist.

With Blart mucking about in an amusement arcade, he is the only person unaware that the Mall has been taken hostage. There are bits about the film which you need to disengage your brain for. As the main focus is on Blart and not the heist, parts of the heist make little or no sense. However the full length commentary, with optional English subtitles, with Kevin James and Producer Todd Garner, admits to the film's faults, whilst extolling just how much fun they had making it.

The narrative, itself, is an enjoyable paint by numbers affair, there is little here that will challenge you but much that will amuse, especially from the three lead actors Kevin James (Blart), Jayma Mays (Amy) and Keir O'Donnell (Veck Sims) whose dreams of a quick getaway is continually frustrated by Blart's bumbling heroic attempts.

The picture on the disc is nice and sharp, but unlikely to be reference material, but then it’s not that sort of film. It has good background and foreground detail with strong colours, there did not appear to be any faults with the overall transfer. Audio is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 with options for English, Hindi and English SDH, there is also an English audio descriptive service. There is the option for BD live and Cinechat, though neither of these was functional prior to the film’s release.

The disc comes with a number of short extras - Trailers Open Season 2, Kevin James: Not Your Average Mall Cop (4 min, 58 sec), Action Sports Junkies (6 min, 20 sec), Stunts (10 min, 32 sec), On Set with Mike “Rooftop” Escamilla (5 min, 44 sec), Fun on Set (6 min, 04 sec), Mike V Vs Mall Cop (2 min, 35 sec), Mall Cop Response (1 min, 47 sec), Free Running vs Parkour (3 min, 11 sec), Thoughts with Kevin James (2 min, 14 sec), Sugar (1 min, 58 sec) and 10 deleted scenes (12 min, 30 sec) - much of which concentrates on either the stunt work used in the Mall heist, which covers most of the extras, or people bigging the film up. There are a few nuggets of humour in the deleted scenes, but otherwise much of the material is a ‘watch once’ affair.

So, an above average, inoffensive, comedy for a lazy Sunday afternoon. It's very family friendly as the makers have made sure to create situational and relationship comedy without the need to take the easy way out with the liberal use of swear words. To further give value on the film the finished disc will come with a digital copy for you to carry around, though this was not provided with the review disc.


Charles Packer

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