It should be wonderful when a sequel tops its predecessor. Think Godfather 2 or Empire Strikes Back. It’s a very rare occurrence, and you would think anytime it happens the sequel would be memorable, since if a sequel got greenlit the original movie must have been decent at least, right? If you felt safe making that assumption, like I did, now is the time to reconsider. Because Kevin James and Adam Sandler have gone out of their way to prove us all wrong.
I did not see Paul Blart 1 until Friday. I didn’t try to avoid it at the time but did not expect it to be much good. And I was okay with it being mediocre and also with seeing it at some point. So that point was two days ago. It was surprisingly not funny. Like I was just supposed to sort of cheer for Paul because he was the main guy. I think? It was more confusing than anything, really, as to why this mediocre idea didn’t even get to the mediocre level.
And if they had stopped at one there would have been nothing more to say. It wrapped up, Paul Blart won, he foiled all the bad guys and got the girl. So he could stop being sad and start being a more respected mall cop. Or something, I mean, it didn’t seem like he had more story to tell. But then, six years after that, for some reason a sequel got made.
There can’t have been anyone asking for a sequel. I don’t know how anyone could have thought this was a good idea. But here we are, with Paul Blart 2 playing this week at the drive in. We hadn’t been in a while because we’ve been busy, and we were semi-free, and it was a nice night, so really, it didn’t matter what was playing.
Paul Blart 2 is pretty much Paul Blart 1. I think if anything everyone was a little more practiced, like the first was a dress rehearsal for the second, so the second turned out a bit more polished. The second one is a slightly better movie, just comparing them straight up. But it is still mediocre at best. If it’s at your local drive in then go. Or you could consider it as an option on a plane, I mean, I’d probably rewatch Jurassic World instead but maybe it can be your 3rd or 4th option if your flight is crossing the Pacific Ocean. That’s about the best thing I can say about Paul Blart 2: it’s slightly better than the first one but it is probably not as good as rewatching something you already saw and liked.
I will give this franchise a combined rating of half a segway out of two. Because there’s probably a supercut of these two movies that might be entertaining but even then I think I would be better off rewatching Jurassic World and Mad Max: Fury Road and Inside Out and Furious 7 on my next plane ride (and since it’s to San Francisco that’s more than enough to fill my flight).