For the uninitiated, New Jersey security Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 maven Blart is, as one character here affectionately dubs him, “a strange, misshapen superhero.” He’s also such a whirling dervish of delusional dopiness that it’s tough to buy into those rare moments when the big guy actually has a cogent thought.
To justify the Blart concoction (James and Nick Bakay cowrote both films) as simply an outsized vessel for maximum comic effect might fly if he was actually funny. But, at least in “Cop 2,” Blart, for all his plus-size pratfalls and cartoonish reactions, proves the film’s least humorous element. To wit: “Saturday Night Live” alum Ana Gasteyer elicits more laughs in her handful of scenes as another security guard’s game wife than James does in the entire movie.
The film’s hyper-silly but workable plot finds a now down-on-his luck Blart — his mother (a fleeting Shirley Knight) was run over by a milk truck and his wife Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 (Jayma Mays) left him after six days of marital blech — attending a security officers convention at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. He brings along his devoted, UCLA-bound daughter, Maya (an endearing Raini Rodriguez), who attempts some tame fun despite her wildly overprotective dad.