Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a 2009 American action-comedy film directed by Steve Carr and co-written by Kevin James, who stars as the title character, Paul Blart.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop was widely panned by critics but has become an audience favorite.
Paul Blart (Kevin James) is a middle-aged single dad who lives with his teenage daughter, Maya (Raini Rodriguez), and elderly mother, Margaret (Shirley Knight). Though he aspires to become a member of the New Jersey State Police, his hypoglycemic medical condition gives him a tendency to collapse and causes him to fail the entrance exam, and Blart has settled on a security guard position at the West Orange Pavilion Mall in New Jersey. Taking his responsibility as a mall cop very seriously, he executes a strict, daily routine and patrols the mall riding on a Segway, an electric vehicle that requires good balance and control. On patrol one day, Blart notices a new kiosk in the mall and feels an instant attraction to its vendor, Amy Anderson (Jayma Mays), though he has a hard time finding the courage to speak to her. Meanwhile, Blart has been given the assignment of training a new rookie, Veck Simms (Keir O'Donnell), who does not show much interest in his newfound position as a mall security guard.
Blart eventually becomes acquainted with Amy, and one evening as he escorts her to her car, Amy invites him to join her and other mall employees at a restaurant later that evening. Blart gladly accepts. During the event, things initially go well, but Blart gets sidetracked when he decides to participate in a nacho-eating contest with an overweight friend, Leon (Jamal Mixon). The hot sauce is more than Blart can handle, and he begins chugging other customer's drinks nearby in an effort to console the pain. Many were alcoholic, and as a result, Blart gets excessively drunk and incoherent, crashes the party, and makes a wild exit by falling through a window. The behavior puts a damper on his relationship with Amy.
The next morning, Black Friday, an organized gang of criminals disguised as Santa's Little Helpers begin what appears to be a bank heist inside the mall. They take Amy and other customers in line hostage. Veck, the rookie security guard, is revealed as the gang's leader, apparently using the job to gain intelligence on the mall's security. It is discovered that his real plans go beyond robbing a bank: he plans to use credit card codes obtained from various stores around the mall to steal $30 million, while keeping the hostages as insurance for the gang's escape. The crew forces shoppers to exit the mall and strategically places motion sensors around each entrance to detect any attempt by law enforcement to enter the building.
Blart, who was playing a video game in a nearby electronics store, is oblivious to what has happened and walks back out in the mall completely unaware of the situation. He soon realizes, contacts police, and slips out of the mall to speak with Sergeant Howard (Adam Ferrara), the scene commander. However, Blart realizes Amy is still inside when he sees her car in the parking lot, and decides to go back in to rescue the hostages. A state SWAT team soon arrives and Commander James Kent (Bobby Cannavale), a former classmate and bully from Blart's high school years, takes control of the situation, ordering Blart to let them handle the situation. Blart refuses. Vastly outnumbered and physically outclassed, Blart takes a stand against Veck's crew using improvised measures. He discovers the credit card codes written in invisible ink on the robbers' arms and records them in his cell phone as he takes them down one by one. Maya, unaware of the situation, shows up at the mall on her way to bring Blart food. Veck's remaining henchmen seize Maya, adding her to the group of hostages.
After detaining all of Veck's underlings, Blart attempts to evacuate the hostages by pulling them up through an air vent. The plan fails when Leon cannot fit. Veck enters the room, capturing Blart and forcing him to give up the credit card codes. Veck then escapes, taking Amy and Maya with him at gunpoint. As policemen swarm the mall to apprehend the criminals and rescue the hostages, Blart steals a display minivan and joins Kent in pursuing Veck to the airport, where he is attempting to escape to the Cayman Islands.
After a brief scuffle, Blart overpowers Veck and puts him in handcuffs. Moments later, however, Commander Kent pulls his gun on Blart, revealing himself as Veck's accomplice. Kent demands the phone containing the codes from Blart, who refuses and responds by smashing the phone into the ground. Before Kent can retaliate by shooting Blart, Chief Brooks (Peter Gerety) of the mall security team arrives, shooting Kent in the arm. Kent and Veck are placed under arrest after police arrive shortly after, and Amy and Maya are returned safely. For his bravery and assistance, Sergeant Howard offers Blart a job with the New Jersey State Police. Blart is honored, but decides to decline the offer, opting to keep his mall security position. Following the credits, Blart and Amy are seen getting married in the mall.
- Kevin James as Paul Blart
- Jayma Mays as Amy Anderson
- Keir O'Donnell as Veck Simms
- Bobby Cannavale as Commander James Kent
- Adam Ferrara as Sergeant Howard
- Peter Gerety as Chief Brooks
- Stephen Rannazzisi as Stuart
- Raini Rodriguez as Maya Blart
- Shirley Knight as Margaret Blart
- Adhir Kalyan as Pahud
- Jason Ellis as Prancer
- Natascha Hopkins as Vixen
- Mike Escamilla as Blitzen
- Rick Thorne as Cupid
- Mike Vallely as Rudolph
- Allen Covert as Jerky security guard
- Gary Valentine as Karaoke singer
- Jackie Sandler as Victoria's Secret sales associate
Airport scenes were filmed at LG Hanscom Field, Bedford, Massachusetts on the set of Paul Blart: Mall Cop in Burlington, Massachusetts Production began in late February 2008 in Boston. Principal photography took place at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Massachusetts after being denied a permit from Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, New Jersey. From late February until mid-April, the mall and its stores were decorated with Christmas decorations, and there was a large prop ball-pit in the main foyer of the mall near the Sears branch, and a Santa's Village at the opposite end near the Macy's branch where the mall usually puts its own Santa's Village. Interior filming took place mostly at night. Some of the aerial stunts, such as Blart being attacked in the scenic elevator, were performed at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, MA, as the Burlington Mall's construction did not allow for some of these stunts.
Critics generally gave the film negative reviews. Paul Blart: Mall Cop received a 33% "Rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 111 reviews. Metacritic gave the film a low rating of 39 out of 100 based on 24 reviews from mainstream critics. Though many critics panned the film, one notable exception was Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times, who gave a positive review of three stars out of four praising the film's "wholesome" comedy and the way an everyday guy you would normally not think much of turned into an action hero.