Review: ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,’ Starring Kevin James, Heads to Las Vegas

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The pride of the West Orange Pavilion Mall in New Jersey, Blart, returning from the 2009 original, is a mustachioed, huffy-puffy bundle of ego and sanctimony who, at the start of “Mall Cop 2,” has had bad luck: His wife left him after six days of marriage, and his mother has been killed by a milk truck. Only an invitation to a security guard convention in Las Vegas, for which he mistakenly believes he will give the keynote speech, lifts his spirits. In tow is his daughter, Maya (Raini Rodriguez, back from the first), who meets a quasi-love interest, Lane (David Henrie), at the hotel and casino where she and her father are staying.
At the convention Blart is introduced, James Bond-style, to nonlethal gadgets he will use later: one that spits marbles; another that fires beanbags; a glue gun. There are also Segways, Blart’s preferred mode of travel, that he activates, “MacGyver”-style, with improvised materials.
After the scheduled convention speaker gets too drunk to do the job, Blart steps in, and his colleagues erupt with cheers at his oratory. (The script was written by Mr. James and Nick Bakay). Even the comely Divina Martinez (Daniella Alonso), the hotel-casino’s manager, grows starry-eyed. And when high-tech criminals (led by Neal McDonough, the villain of “Red 2”) plot to steal artwork from the place, they inevitably take Maya and Lane hostage, and Blart, in pursuit, must employ his novelty arsenal.
But first he must wrestle with a cantankerous exotic bird and have his face spattered with pink ice cream droppings as he seeks to remedy his hypoglycemia. Blart’s efforts earn him a medal, and again his colleagues, if not viewers in the movie theater, burst into applause.
“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested) for reasons I cannot fathom.
Paul Blart
Mall Cop 2
Opened on Friday
Directed by Andy Fickman; written by Kevin James and Nick Bakay; director of photography, Dean Semler; edited by Scott Hill; music by Rupert Gregson-Williams; production design by Perry Andelin Blake; costumes by Genevieve Tyrrell; produced by Todd Garner, Mr. James, Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo; released by Columbia Pictures. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes.
WITH: Kevin James (Paul Blart), Raini Rodriguez (Maya), Neal McDonough (Vincent), David Henrie (Lane), Eduardo Verástegui (Eduardo) and Daniella Alonso (Divina Martinez).

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