Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +3

Kevin James, Keir O’Donnell, Raini Rodriguez. Comedy. Written by Kevin James, Nick Bakay. Directed by Steve Carr.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A single, suburban dad tries to make ends meet as a security officer at a New Jersey mall. It's a job he takes very seriously, though no one else does. When Santa's helpers at the mall stage a coup, shutting down the megaplex and taking hostages (Paul's daughter and sweetheart among them), Jersey's most formidable mall cop will have to become a real cop to save the day.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s January, folks, don’t expect the studios to be releasing comedies in the class of Ninotchka or Dr. Strangelove. Paul Blart is more like a kickback to Jerry Lewis after Dean Martin. Kevin James plays Blart as a good-hearted bumbler everyone else (except his adoring daughter) considers a loser. As Mr. James establishes this character and his plight, the loser routine becomes a bit embarrassing, the attempts at humor a bit overdone. But here I am expecting subtlety in today’s screen humor. What am I thinking?

But finally, after the bad guys take over the mall, the film’s action kicks in and we find ourselves involved and rooting for the mall cop.

A clean film, Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a nice outing for the family. Both kids and adults will get some laughs. Just don’t expect any nominations next awards season.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Sony Pictures

Crude Language: Some name-calling by the bad guys and a few fat jokes, but mostly the filmmakers are family-friendly.
Obscene Language: I caught one obscenity (the s-word), not from the lead; a couple of expletives from other characters.
Profanity: Two “oh my Gods” but no other misuse of God’s name.
Violence: Some pratfalls and the lead comes up against thieves at the mall and must outthink them; a couple of fights and some gun shooting; hostages are held; but the action is not overly graphic; that said, parents should be there with little ones in case the need for reassurance arises.
Sexual Intercourse: Paul is a lonely single parent (his wife ran off leaving him and his daughter), the family tries to get him to find a lady with an online dating service; he falls for an employee at the mall; one kiss, no sexual situations.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Though he doesn’t drink, Paul accidentally gets drunk at a party and behaves like a klutz, and later winds up with a huge tattoo; the film doesn’t promote drinking, but rather shows the negative consequences of overindulgence.
Other: None
Running Time: 91 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

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