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January 16, 2009 | Comments ()


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A Big Fat Joke

Paul Blart: Mall Cop / Dustin Rowles

Film Reviews | January 16, 2009 | Comments ()


Here’s what it’s like watching the first 45 minutes of Paul Blart: Mall Cop:


The guy is so fat, he leaves footprints in concrete!

He is so fat, they use his belt to measure the Earth’s equator.

Your ass is so fat, when you sat down, you were a foot taller.

Is that your stomach, or did you swallow a beach ball?

That guy is so fat, when he went to school, he sat next to everybody.

He’s so fat, when he jumps in the air, he gets stuck.

Dude’s so fat, when he walks, his ass claps.

That man is so fat, when he sits on a quarter, boogers shoot out of George Washington’s nose.

That asshole is so fat, when he went to the airport, he got arrested for ten pounds of crack.

He’s so fat, when his beeper went off, people thought he was backing up.


Obesity is hilarious, y’all. But you know what’s worse than fat jokes? Fat jokes about a pathetic fat guy. A pathetic fat guy who works as a mall cop and rides a Segway. A pathetic fat mall cop who puts peanut butter on his pie and can’t get laid. A pathetic fat mall cop whose daughter is just as fat and pathetic (don’t worry, though; there are no jokes directed at the daughter. That’d just be crass).

Paul Blart (Kevin James) is a police officer wannabe — he’s failed the physical exam eight times on account of his hypoglycemia (apparently, without the constant rush of sugar, he turns into a narcoleptic). He’s pushed around at the mall, abused by other overweight people, and mocked by his co-workers. He’s also in love with Amy (Jayma May, a future candidate for the Disappearing Actress list). She works in a wig kiosk, and even though she’s very pretty in a very vanilla way, she doesn’t immediately reject Paul, despite the fact that he’s not only obese, but also an idiot. Nevertheless, Blart blows his chances with her when he inadvertently sucks down a pitcher of margaritas during a nacho-eating contest at American Joe’s (now that’s how to win over the ladies!) and makes an ass of himself by making out with her purse and ruining Classic Rock karaoke hour.

Blah blah blah fat joke blah Thanksgiving blah fat joke blah pathetic blah Black Friday arrives. A group of thugs on skateboards and bicycles (yep) take over the mall, using Amy and Paul’s daughter as hostages. Paul, busy playing Guitar Hero, fails to notice the mall has been taken hostage until everyone else has fled, leaving only him to rescue the girls. At this point, Paul Blart transitions from a series of fat jokes into a family-friendly Die Hard flick set in a mall … with obesity physical humor! Or, Home Alone VII: Kevin McCallister is Woefully Out of Shape. Blart Forrest Gumps his way into heroism, gets the girl, saves the daughter, big kiss, happy ending, the end.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is offensively bad. And it’s not the fat jokes that are truly offensive (though, those are, too), it’s just offensively unfunny. And I say that as someone who genuinely, though inexplicably, likes Kevin James. He’s kind of self-deprecatingly charming. Semi-amusing, even. He made Hitch almost worth watching. He just fell into the wrong crowd, unfortunately. That crowd being Adam Sandler and the Happy Madison crew, so that now even when he “writes” his own material (as he does here, if you can call it that), he still has to cast a few of the Happy Madison regulars and use one of its regular “directors,” Steve Carr (one of the ten worst in Hollywood). The result: A bland, overly-lit, formulaic action-comedy that’s so ungodly tepid that I can’t even work up any self-inflicted pain jokes to describe the experience.

God, I miss Chris Farley.

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives withi his wife and son in Portland, Maine You can reach him via email, or leave a comment below.



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