It seems like an obvious idea, and one that'd be hard to do badly - the "mall cop movie" I mean - but alas, both mall cop movies that have recently come out aren't much cop.
Observe & Report...
Is Rogen's weakest work thus far - which is saying something considering he's usually on top form regardless - and you're never quite sure what the movie is supposed to be. I keep reading that it's supposed to be a dark comedy - but it's mostly unfunny, and it's not especially dark.
Now, In Bruges - that's a pitch-perfect black comedy - it's hilariously, uproariously funny (and non-PC), and it is shockingly dark and serious at times, but the swing back to lol-tastic comedy is persistent and skilled.
Observe & Report doesn't have any of that ... sure it raises a few chuckles here and there, and indeed one or two genuine shocks to the system - but the problem is the majority of the film is so scattergun, confused and lacking in the jokes department that you just don't give a stuff in the end.
Farris' lower lip is disturbingly distracting (is it make-up, or did she really have shonky botox/collagen work done?), the mall cop comedy angle is introduced swiftly and ignored equally as swift, the plot is neither one thing nor the other - is it about a mall cop proving his worth by catching a flasher (as the trailer suggests), or is it about a mall cop trying to become a real copper. It's both, and yet it's neither.
It could have really been something worthwhile, but alas it ended up like a slice of bread that looks soft and tasty, but instead it's actually brittle and dry.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop...
You might remember when I first started this blog of my rants, ravings, musings and general updatings, that one of the first flicks I pimped some thoughts on was Wild Hogs - which at the time I nicknamed Mild Hogs - I stick by that name, and indeed Paul Blart: Mall Cop is in the same league.
It's mild ... it's Corma Curry mild ... actually, that's unfair to all curries ... it's the cardboard lids on the foil tins that takeaway food comes in, yes, that mild and indeed bland and indeed not technically edible.
Mind you - in terms of the two mall cop movies out there right now, Paul Blart is the one which is structurally the strongest, and plot-wise the strongest too. This said, you do feel it takes an overly long amount of time to introduce the robbers that chubster Blart has to track down with 'hilarious' fatboy movements and ineptitude.
Indeed, as Total Film alluded to this month, hypoglycemia as a physical fault is far more suited to comedic use than bi-polar disorder ... or perhaps it's the handling ... ... no, hypoglycemia really is better for comedy than bi-polarism...but I bet it's a right bugger if you have either of them, so neither can ever really be that funny - rather, it becomes a tad uncomfortable - so I guess Paul Blart's physical weakness is the least uncomfortable to see lampooned - no doubt helped by the movie's better structuring and pacing.
This all said, it's still not much of a fun time - a mild distraction, but nothing more - and it has to be said that once the crow-barred-in gang of parkour/bmx-ing/skateboarding thieves show up the film seems to become confused with the Extreme Sports Channel. Their inclusion feels pointless, ham-fisted, and whenever they 'act' it simply becomes excruciating.
Also, being such a mild movie, it's all rather predictable (something which Observe & Report wasn't ... for a variety of reasons), so as a result it's all ultimately forgettable.
If the good parts of each film were somehow combined, Dr Frankenstein style, you could probably get a decent 90 minutes out of it, but nope - we get two mild-to-rubbish mall cop movies at once.