Kevin James frantic loveable schlub act has been the highlight of a couple of movies in a supporting role. James makes his move into the lead in Paul Blart - Mall Cop, where he proves he really is the King of Queens.
The movie itself is the latest in a long line of Die Hard knockoffs, this time out it's Die Hard in a mall with free running villians. It's all competently made and on it's own merits this is a one star movie. So what is there to recommend here?
It's all James. The early part of the movie moves slow, giving time for James to build up Blart as a likeable tool. On the job, he acts like a tough seasoned cop as he rides his segway around the mall. Outside of work, he's a lonely guy receiving emotional support from his daugther and mother.
This is all a set up for when the bad guys take the mall over. James launches into action as he rams, stumbles and fumbles to the rescue. Watchable whether he's being dragged by an elderly person in an electric cart, fighting women in Victoria Secrets or getting sh*t faced drunk at a bar with an incredible karaoke singer, James keeps all eyes on him. His performance makes the whole thing watchable. And the awesome 80's rock soundtrack helps too, including what may be the best usage of Survivor's "I Can't Hold Back" in a film.
Is Paul Blart Mall Cop great? Well, no. It's competent with a few highlights thanks to Kevin James. Like the segway he rides, Paul Blart rolls on with humor and some spectacle.