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Paul Blart's Mall Art Fresh Start

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015) on IMDb

Plot Overview

After having weathered two family calamities in the past six years since he went beyond the call of duty one Black Friday to keep the NJ Orange Pavilion Mall safe, “Officer” Paul Blart (Kevin James) is taking his college-bound daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) with him to a security conference at the Wynn Hotel & Resort, Las Vegas. Where lucky customers are enjoying a winning craps roll, Blart's money turns it into a black hole. Where the audience sees a fat hypo­glycemic security guard munching on a bottom­less bowl of peanut M&M's, a beautiful woman responds (in his imagination) to his powerful mystique (no, no, no.) Where Blart sees a picture of sun­flowers on the wall, high class thieves spot a Van Gogh. In a hotel that's had the unprece­dented luck of not missing so much as a towel in the past sixteen years, Blart is about to add his luck to theirs, again extending his ability beyond the call of duty craps.


The tale is an old story as described in (Eccl. 4:4) “Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour.” The professional security team at the Wynn Hotel envies Blart's past success.

(Eccl. 4:5) “The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.” The convention's key­note speaker passed out through alcohol consumption, so Paul had to sub for him.

(Eccl. 4:6) “Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.” Paul's team was limited to non-lethal weapons, true, but they didn't have to justify their use of force the way we see police have to today.

(Eccl. 4:7-8) “Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour.” Blart now has neither wife nor mother, so he loses him­self in his work. But at least he still has a daughter. That may change on this trip, a major point of the movie.

From the original “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” the comparison of mall policing to city policing took on an almost religious ferver that reminds one of church reformer Martin Luther's comparison of callings. It's described by writer Roland H. Bainton: (190)

“Luther was returning to the theme of the calling. The magistrate has his calling; the minister has his calling. Each must serve God according to his office. One calling is not better than another. One is not easier than another. There are temptations peculiar to each. The husband is tempted to lust, the merchant to greed, the magistrate to arrogance. And if the duty is faith­fully per­formed, all the more will there be crosses.”

If the burgomaster does his duty, there will scarcely be four who will like him. If the father disciplines his son, the lad will be ugly. It is true every­where.

Paul Blart was not necessarily appreciated for his service. He had crosses to bear. When he reunited a lost boy with his mother, and his mom told her kid, “Give the fake cop a hug,” Paul spread his arms wide in a crucifix position and the kid abused him.

If you're tempted to think this difference of calling is a debate relegated to the past (or to an obscure movie), think about the current brouhaha over gay & lesbian marriage. The civil magistrate in many states wants to grant homo­sexual couples equality with married couples wrt, say, hospital visitation, inheritance, etc., so they have relabeled domestic partner­ship and/or civil union to call them marriage. The religious and/or cultural leaders want to preserve the sanctity of God's order of creation (Matt. 19:4-6) by restricting marriage to hetero­sexual couples. Each is following his calling according to his lights.

This movie ends with a chase to the helipad on top of the building. Unfortu­nately, the helipad is on top of one building and the security detail arrives atop another. Each building is all by its lone­some although they form a majestic patner­ship, and that heli­copter will soon fly away to the heavens. What if … what if security has a grappling hook, a length of rope, and an expo rifle capable of launching it? Then those two buildings can be married, joined by tying the knot, so that Paul can be reunited with his daughter, and the Wynn with its Van Gogh. We can use the word marriage, to describe what takes place, and nobody's religion is violated. Marriage can refer to the close union of any two objects. Who cares if some secular authority wants to use it to unite queers? Some states care, some don't, and some judges have their own opinions.

The convention is of the Security Officer Trade Association (SOTA), and its members with their SOTA tags mimic the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Paul insists that his daughter be morally straight as in the Boy Scout pledge. He insists that she be prepared as in their motto. And he ends his speech telling his audience, “Help some­one today!” as in the Scouts' daily good deed. What is Paul's good deed for the day? Why, he holds the trailing train of a bride as she traverses the lobby. He didn't have to, because he's not on duty there, just going above and beyond the call.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts don't have to admit queers, because they're a private organization whose credo is to be morally straight. My state of Oregon has a law preventing a business from discriminating against homo­sexuals. If a business had a policy of holding a bride's train for her, then it would have to be willing to handle a bearded bride's tangled trous­seau. That shouldn't violate a Christian's conscience, because it's just a label and business is business. By way of comparison, to the question of what to do when member­ship in one's guild required one to attend a meeting where meat was served that had been sacrificed to an idol, the apostle Paul explained, in 1Cor. 8:4, that since an idol really isn't a god, just a mislabeled rock or what­ever, it's okay so long as some weaker person isn't inadver­tently offended (1Cor. 8:13).

“Mall Cop 2” challenges our vocabulary if we want to use the word gay to describe the action, because gay has several senses. Paul wore gay shirts in the sense of bright floral patterns. In the "that's oh, so gay" sense of some­thing morally objection­able, there was his wife leaving him after six days, the milk truck running over his mother, and his clocking the (elderly) maid by mistake. A gay marriage in the sense of a happy one per a man (Eccl. 9:9) “Liv[ing] joy­fully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of thy life” is sadly conspic­uous by its absence. And Paul receives a gay hug, one that looked homo to me, from a brother security guard. The most common mistake is to use the dyad "gay marriage" to refer to a same-sex union. A gay marriage should mean a happy one if they still exist. One may say "gay and lesbian marriage" to contextualize it if he means the other.

These are mature issues that aren't specifically dealt with in the movie, much less are sides taken, but they reflect the world we live in. So at some level this funny movie lets us adults laugh at our world. The kids who wouldn't under­stand it will laugh at the prat­falls, slapstick, and gross-out jokes anyway, making it a family-friendly movie, there being nothing objectionable in it beyond some cutesy fighting.

Production Values

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” was directed by Andy Fickman. It was written by Kevin James & Nick Bakay. It stars Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez, and Eduardo Verástegui. Kevin James did an over-the-top acting job. He seemed to enjoy filling out his big char­acter. The rest of the cast did just fine in their own parts. MPAA rated Cop2 PG for some violence. It's a short but intense 1½ hours long. The pace was good and steady, and the music was good in a generic way.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I must say I think this is a work of comedic genius. One doesn't have to think too hard; in fact it helps not to, but as long as your expectations aren't unreasonable it's movie time well spent. It's great for the whole family save for the hyper­sensitive. Seems to capitalize on the successful formula of the first one six years earlier.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability for children: Suitable for children. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the Authorized King James Version, pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Bainton, Roland H. Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. Nash­ville: Abingdon Press, 1955. Print.