Kevin James on patrol again in the unfairly maligned comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Photo: Matt Kennedy
NEW RELEASE MOVIE REVIEWS - 24 April
PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 **1/2 (94 minutes) PG
It might be coming a few years later than it should have, but Kevin James has reprised his loser/hero character from the surprise 2009 film for a perfectly congenial, innocuous goofball comedy. It's not as funny as the first film, but it is funny enough.
In Las Vegas with his independence-seeking daughter (Raini Rodriguez) to attend a convention, Blart knocks heads with the hotel's suave head of security (Eduardo Verastegui) and a villain (Neal McDonough, from Band of Brothers) who plans on lifting some art from the hotel.
Likeable as ever, James has Blart's delusional patter down pat, especially when dealing with the growing affection the hotel's beautiful manager (Daniella Alonso) has for him.
As decent, modest and unassuming as this chuckle-worthy little film is it has, for some reason, become subject to some of the most vitriolic reviews in recent memory. Reading over a sampling of them, it is difficult to figure out why. At least audiences seem to like Blart's latest adventure, if the box office is any guide.
BOYCHOIR *** (103 minutes) PG
A hearty Dustin Hoffman plays the head of the American Boychoir School in a heart-felt, feel-good drama about Stet (Garrett Wareing), a troubled pre-pubescent boy, whose gift for singing finds a home of sorts in the school. Josh Lucas puts in fine support as Stet's estranged, well-to-do dad, who has long pretended his son doesn't exist, while Eddie Izzard steals a few scenes as a music teacher with his own agenda. The well-aired themes of artistic rivalry, mentorship and self-belief mskre it a companion piece of sorts with Whiplash. A real treat, bolstered, naturally, with some lovely music.
BANKSY DOES NEW YORK *** (80 minutes) M
Very enjoyable documentary following the fun-filled month the secretive street art collective known as Banksy spent spreading its works across New York city. The public reaction to the sudden appearance of the artworks in the city's streets provides all the sweet stuff here, which ranges from immediate vandalism to covering them up and chanrging people to see them. How much of the documentary is complicit with Banksy is a matter of speculation, and there are a few moments that make you wonder whether the filmmakers were in on the project. Whatever the case, it's a fun ride.