Movie Review: Even with a few extra laughs, Paul Blart still can’t save the day

Spoofing the Die Hard formula with a portly mall cop in the Bruce Willis role may not be a lofty idea, but it seems simple enough, especially considering the number of mostly non-comedic imitators Die Hard has spawned over the years. Yet it’s taken Paul Blart two whole feature films to fail at this task. Both movies deck out their opening titles in a shiny gold logo and faux-serious score—then, instead of undercutting the seriousness with jokes, immediately put any and all spoofery on hold while painstakingly establishing and re-establishing hypoglycemic security officer Paul Blart (Kevin James) as a sympathetic underdog.

The most surprising thing about this process is how sad it is, even after Blart’s first-movie triumph of defending his mall against a gang of skateboarding assailants. The original Blart opened six years ago, just months before Jody Hill’s pitch-black Observe And Report, and while …

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