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Film / Paul Blart: Mall Cop

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Blart is at large!

Paul: Sir, I took a sworn oath to protect this mall and all inside it.
Brooks: What oath? We don't have an oath.
Paul: I... sorta made up my own. It's on a plaque in my room.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a light-hearted comedy released in 2009, starring Kevin James. The plot follows a portly, kindhearted security guard who after failing to realize his dream of becoming a law-enforcement officer due to his hypoglycemia, Paul instead becomes a well-known figure at The Mall and plans to retake the police entrance exam he once failed. Despite no one showing him any respect and having no real legal authority, he treats his job seriously and makes an effort to enforce orderly shopper conduct whenever possible.

This all changes when a bunch of foolhardy bank robbers make a bid to pull a heist on the busiest shopping day of the year. Paul finds himself trapped inside and forced to do battle with the violent criminals, utilizing his own skills, bravery and knowledge of the mall layout to undermine their plans to rescue the hostages, including his girlfriend Amy Anderson (Jayma Mays) and his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez).


A sequel was released in 2015. In the sequel, Blart attends a security convention in Las Vegas, only to stumble upon an art heist led by Vincent Sofel (Neal McDonough), and he and a group of fellow security guards must stop them.

The first movie provides examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Paul's medical condition means he has to have a constant intake of sugar ready, otherwise he becomes weakened and cannot function. In fact, if it weren't for his condition, he'd probably have passed the police entry exam at the beginning of the film. He fakes this on the Big Bad to take him down.
  • Acrofatic: For a big fella, Blart sure as hell can bust a move when he needs to. In fact, it's shown early in the film that were it not for his hypoglycemia, he would have very easily outperformed all the other policemen taking the Entrance exam. (He passed out an inch from the finish line.)
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: It's never made clear if Veck is The Dragon to Kent or if they're actually full-on partners in the operation.
  • Binge Montage: When Paul Blart accidentally gets drunk because he mistook alcoholic lemonade for regular lemonade, this happens, with Paul acting outright dumb when drunk.
  • Bond One-Liner: Blart cracks a couple of subtle ones.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Paul's daughter, Maya, seems to hate Hispanics, even though without her Hispanic immigrant mother, she even wouldn't exist!
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Blart mentions he's been working for ten years, which explains why he's so adept at finding his way around and handy with a Segway.
    • The GPS tracking on Vijay's daughters cellphone.
    • One of the mall merchants gives Blart a bottle of hot sauce "to cheer him up." The observant viewer will expect him to use it later as a weapon against the bad guys. He tries, but it doesn't work.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Used to explain Paul's daughter's Missing Mom: she had married Blart only for the green card and abandoned him and her daughter as soon as she was born.
  • Cool Car: It's not a car. But the fact Kevin James can make riding a Segway look even remotely cool is something of a miracle.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As Paul himself discovers over the course of the movie, he's much more competent than he appears.
  • Dance Party Ending: A wedding variation of this happens, with the bride and groom on segways while they're dancing with each other.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Blart trains Veck to be a security guard early in the film, but later realizes that Veck was only trying to be one for a while just to help his goons study the mall so that they can carry out teir heist.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: It's Die Hard, but in a mall and family friendly! With a husky guy!
    • It's Die Hard if Reginald VelJohnson's cop character had been trapped in the building instead of John McClane.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • A rare SWAT variation of this trope shows up in this movie in the form of corrupt SWAT commander James Kent, who is secretly the leader of the violent thieves.
    • Even though James Kent plays this trope straight, this movie also parodies this trope in that Veck Sims himself is a mall cop variation of this trope in that he became a mall cop trainee (essentially the mall cop equivalent of a rookie cop) only to get information so that he can rob the place with his gang.
  • Dirty Coward: Stuart, the Jerkass pen salesman. He sells out Amy about hiding her cell phone when Veck simply yells at him. Blart's fellow Jerkass coworker played by Allen Covert is one too.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Paul first sees Amy while riding his Segway, he ends up colliding head-on with a mall display minivan.
  • The Dragon: Veck Sims, as it turns out.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Rudolph gives Blart far more trouble than any other bad guy in a fight.
  • Embarrassing Ringtone: This happens repeatedly to Paul, but only because his phone was lent to him by a teenager.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Paul has two.... that we know of.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Veck stood up for Paul when Stuart was pushing him around.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Veck about a third of the way through the movie. Amy is not impressed. Also SWAT Commander Kent.
  • Good Costume Switch: Blart trades in his normal outfit for something closely related to a police officer's uniform to show how serious he is about thwarting the villains' plans.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Veck tries a short one of these by finding out about Blart online. The villain in the second movie does the same after overhearing his daughter talk, with less success.
  • Hard Head: Handled somewhat more realistically when Paul headbutts a Mook.
    Paul: Nobody wins with a headbutt.
  • Hold My Glasses: A woman gets mad when Paul Blart comments on her weight, so she takes off her earrings and proceeds to beat up Paul Blart.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Played by Veck with Blart's daughter.
  • Human Shield: Paul has an unusual twist on this, using a mannequin as a distraction.
  • Inherently Funny Words: You've gotta admit... Blart is just an amusing word, even out of context.
  • Inside Job: The mastermind behind the mall robbery turns out to be one of Blart's trainees.
  • Jerkass: SWAT Commander Kent.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: As Veck drives away with Amy and Maya away, Kent joins Blart with rescuing them and capturing Veck, suggesting a Heel-Face Turn from the one who bullied Blart back in high school. But once Blart successfully defeats Veck, Kent is revealed to have been in Veck's plans all along when he puts him on gunpoint.
  • Le Parkour: Used quite unnecessarily by the villains during the mall robbery.
    • Special features on the DVD show that all the villains (save Veck), were played by Le Parkour experts or extreme sports people.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Blart is only able to take down the hostage takers with sheer luck, and for the most part avoids confrontation. Then one of the thieves threatens Amy and he really steps up his game.
  • Loser Gets the Girl: The popular pen salesman and unpopular mall cop both try to win the girl. Guess who ends up with her?
  • Loser Protagonist: A police reject who takes his security job way too seriously.
  • MacGuffin: The all-important "credit codes" that are used to unlock the wealth in the mall.
  • MacGyvering: Blart is surprisingly adept at using his environment to pick off the bad guys, one by one.
  • The Mall: The main setting of this movie, of course.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The end of the movie reveals that Veck and his gang were actually working for Commander Kent, leader of the SWAT team.
  • Mook Horror Show: Subtle example. While going on a tirade, Veck sees the skateboard of one his mooks roll in. He calms down and nervously shuts the door.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: After being caught by the main criminal taking over the mall, Paul admits that the Big Bad is younger, stronger and smarter than he was. And that literally he was the man with the gun.
  • Papa Wolf: Paul ups his game when Veck threatens his daughter.
  • Police Are Useless: They just stand there and wait for Blart to report in, and the SWAT team to arrive.
    • The police were threatened to stay out, or hostages would be harmed.
      • Also, the SWAT team never does anything but stay outside the mall until the end. Justified in that their commander is actually the real leader of the thieves.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Amy personifies this trope with her big angelic peepers.
  • Race Against the Clock: As the codes needed to steal the store's credit change on a daily basis, there is a limit to how long the villains have to pull off their robbery.
  • Role Called: The title of this movie, which says Paul Blart's name and then his occupation on the very bottom of the aforementioned main protagonist's name.
  • Running Gag: Paul really doesn't drink
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During his lecture at the end of movie, Veck tries to break Blart's resolve by pointing out his weaknesses, and the fact he isn't even armed.
  • Serious Business: Paul takes his job very seriously, to the point of making up his own oath and putting it on a plaque in his room.
  • Shout-Out: The sequence with Paul droppin' punks in the wildlife exhibit is straight out of Rambo, complete with a shift in focus to reveal Paul Hidden in Plain Sight.
    • In keeping with the Die Hard parody, Paul sends a goon he takes down back to spook the bad guys. (okay, he just sends the skateboard rolling across the floor to Veck, but it gets the point across)
    • A 300-worthy slo-mo shot when Paul gets off two accurate swings before the punk hits the floor.
  • Slapstick: A fair dose of the humour is good 'ol fashioned perils and pratfalls.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: This could be an interpretation of the true villain getting shot by the head of security.
  • The Stinger: Paul and Amy finally get married. And Vijay's daughter catches the bouquet!
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The flash grenades used to the scare the police off, and later a whole front panel of the mall blowing up just as the SWAT team captain lampshades the fact he thinks Blart could never be a badass.
  • Took a Level in Badass: About halfway through the movie, Blart suddenly finds strength he didn't know he had.
  • Totally Radical: Veck refering to Paul's rescue attempts as his chance to be the MVP.
  • Torture Always Works: All it takes is Veck pointing a gun at one of the hostages to give up important information. Everyone else just looks at the hostage in disgust to which the hostage replies, "Wow, he's good, he's a pro."
  • Weather Dissonance: It's supposed to be Black Friday but underneath all the lights and fake snow the Real Life mall's window displays are for summer. Maybe if they could've borrowed The Terminal's giant food court set...
  • Wham Line: When Kent reveals his true colors:
    Kent: Very impressive! Taking down an assailant without a gun. I hope you don't mind if I use one.
  • You and What Army?: The head mall security guy asks this of the leader of the New Jersey SWAT Team. Three guesses how it works out...

The second movie provides examples of:

  • Call-Back:
    • Paul's failed sliding motion to take cover.
    • Paul's hypoglycemia incapacitating him and forcing him to seek any source of sugar no matter how gross or unconventional it is.
    • The Big Bad insults Paul's weaknesses like the previous one, and this time, he overhead Maya casually talking to Lane about it 2 minutes before "The Reason You Suck" Speech took place.
    • Paul does a slow advance towards a woman he becomes attracted to at the end of the movie.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Ever since the first incident, Paul has outfitted Maya with tools in case she ever got abducted again (from giving her an electricity device to pick locks with a copper wire and a hidden switchblade).
  • Company Cross References / Shout-Out: In his keynote speech at the security convention, Paul gives a nod to Spider-Man, a Marvel superhero that Sony Pictures owns the film rights for.
  • Happy Ending Override: The first five minutes or so of the sequel basically undo every good thing that happened to Paul (six days into their marriage was enough for Amy to dump him) in the first movie, then lay on some more trouble for good measure (two years later, his mother died after being hit by a milk truck).
  • Made of Iron: Khan fights a highly acrobatic female thug who keeps pulling amazing moves to hurt him, but the former doesn't even flinch with every attack tossed at him.
    • To a lesser extent, Paul, who somehow survives many injuries during the movie, including the horse back-kicking him like a ragdoll onto the side of a car.
  • Papa Wolf: Just knowing Maya got kidnapped again is enough for Blart to tap into his vigilante skills.
  • Plot Allergy: How the Big Bad is taken down: Maya overheard Vincent complaining about oatmeal, which he is deathly allergic to, and uses a concealer infused with it to incapacitate him.
  • Running Gag: Paul constantly shocking a thug with a taser while on the phone and not paying too much attention to him.
  • Seen It All: Lane is so surprised to see Maya using the tools her father gave her in case she got kidnapped, to which she says she already went through a similar situation already.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Paul and the police woman he meets in the epilogue use the expression "brothers-in-arms".
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Paul Blart's mother gets run over by a milk truck in the first five minutes.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In the first film, Amy was much more tolerant of Paul's eccentricities than most people would be, suggesting she did find him somewhat charming, but at the same time it was clear she was off-put by his more glaring flaws. They had also only known each other briefly and gone out on a single date, which went disastrously, before the attack on the mall led to a Rescue Romance and quick wedding between them. Overall, it's no big surprise that the marriage collapsed, although the fact it only lasted six days speaks a lot to how much of a schlub Paul is.
    • Paul’s team manage to take down the lackeys using their slapstick/security weapons. They later show up ready for round 2, as Paul realizes they were only incapacitated by non-lethal weapons.
  • Volleying Insults: Paul and Vincent engage on a long argument hurling strange insults.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Maya's love interest Lane disappears with no trace or explanation after the final scenes of the movie.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Divina falls infatuated for Paul so much that when she finally tells him that she loves him, Paul turns her down and tells her that she only loves the adventurous side of him that doesn't show much in his normal life, but he gladly sets her up with Eduardo.
    • ...Though near the end, Paul finds himself attracted with a police woman riding a horse, who seems to reciprocate his feelings despite not knowing about his heroics yet.
  • You and What Army?: When facing Vincent, Paul calls his four fellow mall cop friends for backup. Vincent then calls all of the henchmen Paul took on one-by-one, and then he complains to himself how the weapons he used were all non-lethal equipment.

Alternative Title(s): Paul Blart Mall Cop 2