Very seldom do movies manage to unite critics in mutual abhorrence, but “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” is doing just that.
The sequel to the 2009 Kevin James comedy about a bumbling security guard is not just being blasted in reviews, it’s been decimated ahead of its opening weekend. The alleged comedy currently has a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ouch. So what’s so bad about it?
“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,” TheWrap‘s Alonso Duralde wrote in his review.
And Duralde was being gentle, too. Here are 8 of the most scathing reviews available on the web.
Time Out critic Tom Huddleston:
“Given that it comes courtesy of Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison – the good folks behind such comedy classics as ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan’ and ‘Grown Ups 2’ – it’s no surprise that ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2’ is a lazy, witless, laugh-free experience. But even by their standards, this is a slog to sit through, so glacially paced that at times it achieves an almost zen-like level of anti-comedy. Expect the next film to consist solely of James silently piloting his Segway around in a white room for 90 minutes.”
Tribune News Service critic Roger Moore:
“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.”
New York Post critic Sara Stewart:
JoBlo critic Chris Bumbray:
“It’s actually quite sad how deeply unfunny this is. Kevin James seems like a nice guy. But he’s just not funny – or at least not in movies like this. When guys like him, who rely on man-child shtick, hit middle-age, it becomes really quite sad watching them try desperately to wring laughs out of such horribly unfunny material.”
Metro critic Matt Prigge:
“And here’s the biggest problem with the ‘Paul Blart’ franchise (and it’s technically, now, a franchise): they aren’t trying. One could even suspect that’s part of the plan: to aim so low that it feeds into the filmmakers’ sense of inadequacy and persecution. It’s as though it needs the hate of haters to live.”
Flick Filosopher critic MaryAnn Johanson:
“I’ve said it before, and it’s worth saying again now: There is absolutely nothing that men can do or be — or neglect to do or be — no failing they can have, no emptiness they can embody, that Hollywood will not embrace as heroic.”
Daily Telegraph Robbie Collin:
“It’s not that the film is particularly loathsome, or that Blart is an overweeningly horrible character. What rankles is that he’s barely anything at all; a stereotype of a stereotype; a half-remembered punchline; a stomach with a mustache and wheels. As you watch the film, it’s already forgotten.”
The Standard critic Matt Neal: