PAUL BLART: MALL COP

paul_blart

Overall Impression – A big hit with small laughs.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS

Who is your main character? – Paul Blart.

What is he trying to accomplish? – Professional: Protect the mall. Personal: Get Amy to love him. Private: Not be the loser he’s always been all his life.

Who’s trying to stop him? – Veck Sims, the leader of the crooks trying to rob the mall.

What happens if he fails? – Veck escapes with both Amy and Paul’s daughter. 

THE FOUR ARCHETYPES

Orphan – Paul has been abandoned by his wife, has failed the test 8 times to be a state trooper, is overweight and lonely.

Wanderer – After a setup that goes on waaaaaaaay too long, the mall is taken over by crooks.  At first, Paul tries to figure out what’s going on.  After running into one of the robbers and escaping, Paul realizes that the mall is under siege.  He wants to escape, and makes it out of the mall only to realize that Amy’s car is still in the parking lot.  He turns around and goes back in.

Warrior – Paul hapless encounters several robbers around the mall, knocking them out.  He makes it to where the hostages are being held captive and tries to get them out, unsuccessfully.

Martyr – Veck escapes and Blart pursues.  He eventually stops him and saves the day, winning Amy’s love.  Blart is offered a spot as a state trooper and he declines, instead opting to stay on at the mall.

AND, IN THE END…

There’s nothing terribly wrong about PAUL BLART: MALL COP, and I found it interesting for what it sort of understood about the conventions of the “DIE HARD in an office building/aircraft carrier/airport/jumbo jet” genre.  The movie borrows so heavily from DIE HARD that it’s obviously meant to be as much homage as rip-off.

When you see this movie — IF you see this movie  — ignore the goofiness of the bad guys (skateboards and BMX bikes?!?!?!?) and learn from all of the things that the film does almost right; there were too many third act solutions, the obstacles in act two don’t really become increasingly difficult, the martyr moment doesn’t lead to the main character’s success, and the main character gives up his life-long dream for no real reason.  These were all things that could have been easily fixed in the scripting…but hindsight is 20-20.  Assuming you know what to look for.

— Jeffrey Alan Schechter

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “PAUL BLART: MALL COP”

  1. Mel January 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm #

    Having just seen it this weekend, I agree with you, especially about the setup. It just takes waaaaaay to long to reveal that he is a loser. I mean, come on, we really know pretty quick that he’s a loser. I think a lot of the setup is so we have a plausible reason for his daughter to be involved.
    I disagree with the goofiness factor — I thought the bad guys on skateboards, doing parkour, etc. worked with the more light-hearted Die Hard the movie was trying to be. We would’ve just seen endless guys running with guns otherwise; here we are granted a bit of a different take on the whole bad guy thing.
    Even with the comedy (let’s face it–the movie was one long fat joke), I was happy that the good and bad guys were at least somewhat competent. While there was certainly idiocy, it didn’t strike me as an plot that hinged on people being idiots, with the possible exception of the hot sauce scene.
    It was a Die Hard kind of movie. I half expected to see “Now I have a machine gun” written on the skateboard.
    Thanks for the analysis and review.

  2. Len Massaar January 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    Yes, thanks again Jeff !

    PS. I know you’ve hinted in the past, but perhaps a link somewhere on your main page (Jeff Who) so some of us could submit our own reviews and help contribute whenever we can. 😉

    (and if we’re WAY off, you’d get to have final editorial say 🙂

    Cheers as always, Len

Leave a Reply