Mall Cop 2 doesn’t cut it

Kevin James is one of the funniest actors in Hollywood. His longtime sitcom with Leah Remini, King of Queens, is one of the funniest family-oriented comedies on television. It’s in reruns and while I didn’t watch while it was new, I watch it’s episodes repeatedly. But Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is such a dismal failure I left feeling sorry for the talented James.

By Ray Hanania

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015) PosterNothing gets me going more than an episode of King of Queens, the story of a delivery truck driver and his legal secretary wife living in Queens with her father living int he basement. The sitcom, which ran from 1998 until 2007, is so funny I can’t not watch it. It’s that good.

Starring Kevin James as Doug and Leah Remini as Carrie, the series has you belly laughing with complex humor that is easy to enjoy and not offensive to your personal tastes.

2 Broke Girls (starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs) is today’s top comedy. It’s so funny, but sometimes the language is better in a sex education class, or on the elementary school playground rather than on evening television.

Still, Kevin James is the King of Comedy in my book. The King of Queens sitcom is built on simple but easy to understand an, more importantly, enjoy comedy and humor. It’s probably the one show I watch on a regular basis besides the Showtime and HBO seasonal blowouts like Shameless and Game of Thrones.

The King of Queens (1998) PosterJames came up with a great concept a few years back with Paul Blart: Mall Cop. The slapstick humor was funny. It was self deprecating, and James played off of his weight. Another Hollywood comedian who has mastered the tonnage is Melissa McCarthy. She is the funniest woman on television and on the big screen. It’s almost as if whatever she plays or produces will be a comic hit.

I’m bored by Mike & Molly, but she keeps it alive. Her films, though, are phenomenal. And for a while, James was the same. He’s had several good films but nothing topped Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which was released in 2009 and much of which was filmed at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Massachusetts.

It was just good, filled with slapstick humor.

James has done a lot for the image of jobs that are often taken for granted. Delivery truck drivers. Mall security employees. But in the sequel, he hasn’t done much for himself.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is simply horrible. It’s just not funny. It’s repetitive with stale humor and bad jokes. Many of the funny scenes just don’t cut it in this sequel like they did when presented in the first. Like when Blart slides to hide while battling the bad guys, and missed the mark, coming out from behind a cover object like a plant or column. And then he wiggles himself back into the proper hiding spot.

It just didn’t work this time.

Kevin James PictureMaybe it’s the film didn’t work so the techniques lost their sale. I’m not sure. But it was definitely disappointing.

There isn’t a person in Hollywood I want to succeed more than Kevin James. I’d love to see him get back with Leah Remini, whose caustic personality balanced James so perfectly. Remini is the target of much fake porno on the internet which I figure has to be driven by those nutjob fans of the Church of Scientology which Remini once was a part of but when she left was targeted by them.

Remini’s reality show — Leah Remini: It’s All Relative, about her family life — didn’t cut it, which shows that she should have married James.

That would be one hell of a reality series, for sure.

Maybe that’s what Remini and James should do. No. Not get married. But do a reality show based on the pretense of being married. I’d watch them every minute of every day if they could capture the magic that made the Heffernans so compelling.

I’ll still go to see any Kevin James film. He’s so talented. His humor is there. It just wasn’t in the film, Mall Cop 2, unfortunately.

It was good to see Gary Valentine (King of Queens, Cousin Danny) in the sequel, but we missed Jerry Stiller and Victor Williams.

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley). And, Hanania is a stubborn and loud critic of the biased mainstream American news media.

Hanania Chicago political beats and Chicago City Hall at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published the The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate. He has written for the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star of Lebanon, the News of the World in London, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, The Saudi Gazette, the Arab News in Jeddah, and Aramco Magazine.

Hanania's Chicagoland columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald, the Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News and the Palos Reporter newspapers.

He is President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is www.TheMediaOasis.com. Email him at: [email protected]
Ray Hanania

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