“Baywatch” Review

Baywatch was the most trashy of 1990s television that started out as a suggestive lifeguard drama and spun itself into the craziest of spin-offs where characters solved ghost mysteries at night. No, seriously, look up Baywatch Nights – it’s real. The show at least started off knowing what it wanted to be with daring rescue drama and plenty of slow-motion shots of Pamela Anderson’s boobs bouncing and David Hasselhoff’s hairy chest glistening. That’s more than I can say for this big screen adaptation that can’t decide what movie it wants to be. Is it an R-rated puke-fest of a comedy or a hard-nosed adventure of daring feats? Is it an intense story of water rescues or a silly caper of foiling a drug scheme? It is all these and none of them – the jack of all cliches and fool of them all.
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“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” Review

This is the black hole of cliche comedy that every road trip movie swirls around but rarely dares to enter. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul doesn’t just kamikaze into this abyss of laziness; it does so with almost suicidal tendencies. There is no desire here to be original or clever, relying more on the gross humor and slapstick gags that should have been retired decades ago. I can only fathom the filmmakers figured that today’s kids would be too young to have seen the old pee-in-the-bottle gag from Dumb and Dumber and too simple to not find anything foul about poop, vomit, and urine.
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“Sandy Wexler” Review

I suppose I should be grateful that the third film of Adam Sandler’s Netflix contract was not as terrible as it could have been. He disgusted me to no end with cringe-worthy Native Americans satire and scatological scenes of horse droppings in The Ridiculous Six. He shocked me with how sexist, homophobic and downright mean he could be in The Do-Over, in addition to nearly making me vomit from the grossest three-way I’ve ever witnessed on film. The best I can say about Sandy Wexler is that it didn’t make me recoil from being grossed out or feeling uncomfortable. It did give me a massive headache for Sandler’s ear-splitting titular character though. Progress?

Actually, calling Sandy Wexler a character might not be accurate. To embody the role of a consistent liar of a talent agent, Sandler throws on dorky clothes and speaks in his most nasally of Jewish stereotype voices. It’s that familiar nails-on-the-chalkboard voice that veteran movie critics know quite well of Sandler’s work. Surprisingly, he doesn’t say anything that offensive about his religion or others. There’s also no scene where we get to hear him wail while he has violent diarrhea or an awkward orgasm. The lack of crudeness and offensiveness allows the audience to appreciate just how unbearable this character is even when trying to be a nice guy.

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“Pixels” Review

Pixels is a movie that used cheat codes to get to its own nostalgic special effects. It bypasses all the story, character and necessary logic to feature Adam Sandler and his friends battling video game characters in real life. It’s not important that there is any rhyme or reason to any of spec of this action comedy – all that matters is Adam Sandler’s passive commentary on video games and Josh Gad screaming at the top of his lungs. Sadly, there is no cheat code on the DVD to make any of this funny.

Nothing about this premise is all that original. The idea was based off a visual effect short of the same title and the story is ripped straight from an episode of Futurama. Slam them both together with the usual lazy writing of Happy Madison productions and you have one big mess of a movie about video game themed aliens invading Earth. The aliens – which we never see out of the form of licensed video game characters – declare war on Earth after viewing some of our video games from 1982. I never thought Pac Man or Galaga were declarations of war, but what do I know about aliens? I can tell you I don’t know much about these aliens considering how little of their intent is revealed.

To combat this threat, the United States decides to enlist the aged video game champions of 1982 comprised of Adam Sandler, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage. Why are they recruited as opposed to all the other video game champions or alien experts of the past three decades? From what I can gather, Sandler is apparently able to recognize that the Galaga enemies were from the arcade version and not the home console version. Why is this important? It’s the script’s laughable excuse for using men in their 40’s for a video game themed movie. Could they have at least tried to make the scenario plausible and maybe abduct everybody on Earth born after 1982? It wouldn’t make much sense, but would be far more plausible.

Pixels banks entirely on nostalgia. Most of its comedy seems to derive from the mere sight of a CGI Pac Man devouring cars and Centipede ripping up buildings. Director Chris Columbus crowds the screen with so many of the visual gags, perhaps to cover up the script of lesser characters and dialogue. Sandler is portrayed as a tired and boring nerd that has been reduced to house calls for setting up electronics, but he’s still not above picking up chicks while on the jobs. A bad hygiene trait is forced on his character to enforce some sort of nerd stereotype. Peter Dinklage is an imprisoned champion of Donkey Kong, performing the worst accent of his entire career. Kevin James is the president of the United States and doesn’t have much to do until the third act. Josh Gad plays an alien conspiracy theorist who spends most the movie screaming.

I suppose the movie wants us to marvel at such unlikely heroes, but I’m more floored by such unlikable characters with nothing all that funny to do. Gad must instruct some soldiers on the mechanics of video games and makes a plethora of gay jokes while shouting at the men. He then spanks their butts while they are playing video games. There might have been a subplot to this humor about Gad’s character being a closeted homosexual, but such creativity is not in the cards. After all, Gad has a terrible romantic subplot about being in love with a female video game character. And if you can make any sense of that arc, I would love to hear about it.

I’m not much for video games, but even I was staring at this picture in astonishment for how much it got wrong. There are no cheat codes in Pac Man or Donkey Kong, but the scriptwriters believe every video game has a cheat code. Q-Bert pops up as an ally, but speaks in perfect English as opposed to the garbled babble he spoke in the video games. Even the title of the movie is wrong as the CG video games characters are assembled with voxels and not pixels. If the movie gets so many of these geeky facts wrong while focusing on a very geeky subject, the mind reels at just who this movie is intended for. It’s not for the geeks for its inaccuracy and it’s not for kids since they won’t get the references to Max Headroom or Hall and Oates. I can only fathom that it must be meant for baby boomers who played a lot of arcade games in the 1980’s and haven’t played one since. What an oddly specific demographic for such a terrible comedy.

“Entourage” Review

Keeping with the format of Sex and the City, HBO gives Entourage a theatrical send off that feels less like a movie and more as four episodes strung together. There’s not much of a leap from the format of the TV series, sticking close to its old formula as if this were the beginning of a new series. Or possibly another movie. It happened with the Sex and the City movie anyway.

The Entourage movie does little to stand on its own, acting more as a reunion special than a theatrical movie. Vincent (Adrian Grenier) and his crew have grown since the series finale, but no more than if the show continued on for a couple of seasons. Tired of just being an actor, Vinnie now aspires to direct and star in his own picture. He rallies his troops of bros and friends to make the picture a reality. Fast forward to the completion of the picture and Vinnie finds himself at odds with the worried Texan of a producer (Billy Bob Thorton). Namely, the producer’s spoiled brat of a son (Haley Joel Osment) who becomes consumed with sexual jealousy that he aims to sabotage the movie with recuts and recasting.

That would be enough of a plot for a movie, but a slew subplots are pushed into the mix to give every character enough to do. Ari (Jeremy Piven) reluctantly dives back into being an agent despite having retired and trying to work out his anger issues. Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) is still grappling with his acting career, but still has trouble with connecting to others in his cocky tone. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) has now lost weight, made some money and is seeking to share his life with someone special. And Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly) finds himself dealing with a serious relationship as he enters into fatherhood.

If you think that’s too many subplots to cram in, just watch how the movie crams in as many celebrity cameos as it can. No less than 30 recognizable celebrities pop in to play more or less themselves. Liam Neeson tells Ari to piss off at a stoplight. Bob Saget attempts to woo some younger ladies at a party. Kelsey Grammer departs angrily from a therapist’s office – remarking to Ari about how ineffective his sessions were. Mark Wahlberg chats with Vinnie at an editing studio about his Ted movies that he hopes will never end. And the list goes on and on with cameo after cameo of celebrities mocking themselves with in-jokes and movie-related banter. For a movie buff, there’s a laugh to be had from a handful of these scenes, but the comedy of it all does start to wear a bit thin by the 28th cameo.

Why so many? The Entourage series is probably most notable for such comedy that comes in small bursts rather than engrossing arcs. As such, the movie extends itself to be a collection of episodes that proceeds so quickly through all the beats you don’t get the feeling of a send-off. More importantly, it doesn’t improve on or grow these characters past their usual personalities, only finding more celebrities hi-jinks for them to get into. So if you didn’t like these entitled boys before, you’re sure as heck not going to like them in this movie either. And even calling it a movie is stretching its writing a bit. Despite some smiles and chuckles here and there, the Entourage movie just ultimately left me wanting more from a picture that delivers modest laughs amid a rather shallow story. There’s no reason to care all that much if the movie Vinnie makes is a success because we know it will be. All you can do is distract yourself with the sex, vulgarities and cameos.

Entourage refuses to evolve, resolve or put an end to the bad boys of Hollywood. I didn’t feel like I was watching a movie so much as a handful of episodes from the show. And if that’s all a movie can offer you, you’re better off just watching the show instead.

“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” Review

Not all old men are refined gentlemen of sage wisdom. Allan is one such character who never really fit it in with society or even understood it all that much. All he understands is explosions. Firecrackers, dynamite, atomic bombs – anything that can blow up is what he fancies. When a fox murders his favorite cat, Allan lays a trap for the vicious beast and blows him to kingdom come. He’s not maniacal – at least in his own mind – as explosives are just his innocent calling. He doesn’t comprehend the death and destruction he brings even after witnessing his bombs decimate many. I wanted to like him in all his dark comedic brilliance, but there’s just something about this twisted Forrest Gump that didn’t quite put me in the right frame of mind.

The premise begins as the title implies and then snowballs into elderly antics. Allan finds himself escaping from his retirement home on his 100th birthday to have himself a bit of adventure. While he wanders around the Swedish countryside unwittingly carrying drug money, he recalls his long and disturbing life. Through his many travels, he ran across several dictators and masterminds. His obsession with explosives took him far in the world, acting as a more destructive version of Forrest Gump. He cared not for the politics of the wars he took part in – he just wanted to blow stuff up real good. Allan also doesn’t care much for laws either the way he has no problem killing uppity young punks and hiding the body. Life just seems so passive and easygoing for a man who doesn’t appear concerned about charges of murder and robbery.

There’s a dark comedic edge to this farce of the elderly on a rampage and the life of a quiet demolitions madman. But much like the protagonist, the story finds itself meandering around in its own whimsy and ridiculousness. On his travels, Allan gains some allies in the form of snide thief, a gun-toting artist, a middle-age college student and an elephant. There’s not much of an arc or a goal to any of this – even the case of the missing money and old man is never given much attention. The story mostly plays out like an extended version of Mister Magoo with various mishaps and slapstick worthy of any cartoon.

The picture does have its smile-worthy moments for how fantastical it wants to be. There’s an allure in how Allan nonchalantly proceeds through the wars of the 20th century – drinking with Franco and dancing with Stalin. When initially hired as an explosives expert during the war, he cares more about his bombs than he does the war itself. When he loses his passion for blowing up bridges, he states that he got tired of it all and just decided to do something else. The same logic applies to the movie as when it gets tired with one storyline, it swaps it out for another plot or character. A perfect embodiment of the random memory of the elderly or just unfocused writing? I wouldn’t dig that deep into a comedy featuring an elephant sitting on someone and dynamite blowing up a chicken coop.

Sometimes amusing and sometimes warped, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has all the charm of watching a series of Looney Tunes cartoons. It’s silly, snide and at times witty, but best taken in small doses. This makes the picture a great recommendation for a rental, but not worth treasuring for a purchase.

“Pitch Perfect 2” Review

While Pitch Perfect managed to find a comical tone for a capella, its sequel doesn’t have any fresh ideas. All of the characters return with all their quirks and comedy, but have not developed or improved. The sequel finds them once again singing in another ridiculous competition, but with minimal difference in terms of stakes and progression. It’s an encore presentation of a melody that just doesn’t have the same ring on the second go around.

The Bella musical team return once again with Beca (Anna Kendrick) leading them in song as the heavy hitters of the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella – which is apparently a real thing. But their glory takes a tumble as comical tubby Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) has a wardrobe malfunction that reveals too much and instigates Muffgate. Banned from the ICCA, their only to regain their title and continue to compete is if they can win the World Championship of A Capella –  a contest America has never won. So there’s a little more on the line in this competition instead of just having the group effortlessly transition towards the bigger contest.

The group begins to compete in underground and above ground tournaments of the a capella scene. Their rivals are naturally a German team – dubbed Das Sound Machine – dressing in all black and looking down on the Bellas with a snotty disposition. They’re sharp on their toes when it comes to song and dance, but amusingly lost when it comes to insulting the Bellas. David Cross plays an overly enthusiastic a capella fan that hosts a “Riff-Off” singing competition. He plays up his devotion to the sport as comically as you’d expect for a David Cross role. And the picture just wouldn’t be complete without the snarky and politically incorrect commentary of song commentators John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks.

But what of the Bellas themselves? Aside from the two driving forces of Beca and Fat Amy, there isn’t much for any of them to do or expand upon. Cynthia-Rose is still is a lady-obsessed lesbian, Lily is still the strange Asian and Stacie is still overtly sexual. They all just pop in to deliver a few funny one-liners and nothing more. Even the new addition of Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is mostly sidelined despite her raw talent as a legacy Bella with an amazing voice. What side plots the scripts offers with Beca and Fat Amy are nothing all that special either. Beca struggles to maintain a secret internship at a record label while leading the Bellas and Fat Amy develops a relationship with a rival singer. While these are interesting directions for the characters, they offer little more than a few laughs.

And that right there is the biggest problem with Pitch Perfect 2 in how it hopes to recapture that lightning in a bottle by not straying far off course. The songs are pleasing to the ears, but no more than were in the first film. The gags and jabs are amusing, but no more than they were before. There’s a massive sense of deja vu when watching such a picture that never aspires to higher standards – cautiously attempting not to rock the boat of its own formula. I want to root for the Bellas to win the big competition, but it’s a little hard to do that when all characters eventually boil down to simple jokes. If the series ever hopes to grow past just being a movie jukebox, it needs to find a better use of its characters and take advantage of its potential. When the only showstopper is how the Bellas shock the a capella world by actually singing an original song, it may be time to find a different tune.

“Spy” (2015) Review

Despite having the most unoriginal title for a spy satire, Paul Feig’s latest action/comedy finds plenty of original humor per his fearless style of comedy. He once again uses Melissa McCarthy in a role that emphasizes her glee over girth, but doesn’t play dumb about her capabilities. You won’t see McCarthy doing daring jumps off high peaks to avoid an explosion, but you will see her get involved with smarts and instinct that are believable. But, most importantly, Spy is hilarious while still paying its respects to the genre.

It’s refreshing to finally see McCarthy back in a role that challenges her more as opposed to her just phoning it in as the bloated dunce of pictures such as Identity Theft and Tammy. She starts off as the most interesting character of the plot – a desk jockey for secret agents in the field. As Jude Law dashes around lavish locations – shooting bad guys in a tuxedo – McCarthy directs his every move from the proximity of the enemy to the ETA of backup. She’s tactful with her response, but giddy about her crush on the man she watches over.

Eventually McCarthy will have to end up in the field, but the script swiftly skips the training montage. It turns out she’s already been trained well enough and is ready to do her job. Initially assigned with working recon, she’s given secret identities the likes of cat ladies and frumpy saleswomen. Her secret weapons come in the disguise of baby wipes and a Beaches watch. As you might expect, she’s not very favored by her organization. Even Jude Law fails to read the signs of her flirting. Rather than being a series of mean-spirited jabs that could engulf the picture, McCarthy simply laughs along knowing she’ll eventually get her moment to rise above that mountain.

While we watch her climb, she’s a general riot in more ways than one. I especially dug her fight scenes the way she frantically tries to wrestle away knives and guns with a comedic grip, but capable strategy. It’s so strange to see a woman outside of ideal appearance for an action star able to hold her own in the spy game. And, unlike some ludicrous idealism that could easily make such a picture go off the rails, her determination and victories are believable. Well, for about as much reality can be solidified in a picture with guns and nukes.

But McCarthy isn’t alone as she has plenty of strong actors to play from. Miranda Hart is perfectly cast as the overly eccentric co-worker who tags along as much she can as McCarthy’s fast-talking sidekick. Rose Byrne makes for a great ambiguous villain that scowls with her royalty status among terrorists. My favorite supporting character is undoubtably Jason Statham who appears to be reprising his role from the Crank movies the way he rattles off his insane moments of action in the spy field.

While Feig does a fantastic job playing up the characters and comedy, he still brings some class to satirizing the spy genre. The soundtrack sets the perfect tone, the locations are lavishly decadent and the action is very intense. Even the opening and closing credits embody the true spirit of a spy picture with respect and cleverness. It should also be worth noting how bitingly violent the picture is featuring everything from impaled hitmen to melting throats. It could be written off as just a shock element, but there’s something just so funny about a secret agent who accidentally shoots the bad guy in the face when he sneezes.

The movie does have its small lulls as when the plot goes a bit heavy on the reveals and the camera remains on just a tad too long for improvisation. Those minor qualms aside, Spy is a well-oiled machine that delivers on Feig’s brilliant level of clever comedy and his surprising direction of action. Similar to Feig’s The Heat, McCarthy once again acts as the glue with her amazing wit and exceptional comic timing. And while it certainly has a progressive edge with its largely female cast in an R-rated action picture, it’s still a hilarious picture first. Take note of how McCarthy’s appearance acts as a part of the joke, but not THE joke. You’ll see her struggle with her self-esteem in passive-aggressive nuggets, but you won’t see her fall on her butt or break a seat with her weight. Such gags are too easy, too tired and out-of-place for a picture that succeeds as the most pleasing spy comedy since Top Secret.

“Smosh: The Movie” Review

We live in a time where online videos have supplanted television in popularity with younger audiences. They’d rather watch somebody play video games or make a spoof on YouTube. But what price does that popularity serve in the long run? As the viral sensations end their reign in the fast-paced world of online fame, the movie and TV studios attempt to piggyback on what little money there may be left to extract. Even though it may seem as though the two boys of the Smosh YouTube channel have hit it big with their own movie, it will most likely be as far as they will go. They’ve had their fifteen minutes of fame and presenting them in a feature-length movie perfectly displays how they can’t hold 90 minutes.

Taking YouTube celebrities out of their medium and throwing them into a movie make you realize how ill-suited they are outside the website. In the same sense of having a feast of Big Macs for Thanksgiving, the junk food nature of the medium presents itself far too clear in movie form. Smosh: The Movie confirms this theory as a movie by YouTube celebrities about YouTube celebrities is just not interesting, creative or all that funny. Considering it’s a platform of content that doesn’t need any payment, you get what you pay for which happens to be nothing (or 10 seconds of your time for an advertisement before the video).

The script is proof positive that these guys are better suited for producing five-minute skits than a movie. Anthony Padilla and Ian Cox play themselves as slackers living with their parents. Anthony wants to move up in the world by starting with a pizza delivery job while Ian wants to stay a homebody gorging on YouTube videos. A chance for commentary on the nature of millennials? Of course not! This is more of a strange romance in how these two guys are more concerned about getting the girl than where they’re going to be in the next ten years.

The only way Andrew believes he can get the girl is if he removes an embarrassing video of himself from high school off YouTube. The only way Ian can get the girl is if he tracks down a woman he knows only from a butt massage video. Their missions combine when they visit the YouTube company where the only way to remove a video from the site is to enter a virtual reality of all the popular videos on the website. This provides the format for inserting as many YouTube cameos and familiar search results on-screen for the boys to interact with in the simulation.

I’m fully aware that the YouTube obsessed youth will most likely find a gleeful joy from all the surprise appearances of their favorite viral personalities. And, yes, the movie does require that you have knowledge of these popular video creators to get the jokes they make. If you don’t, you’ll be left scratching your head about why Mark Plier appears in a corner of the screen to project loudly into a microphone. But for what it’s worth, I’m aware of Plier and I get the reference – I just don’t understand why it’s funny. That goes for most of the movie which I guess is supposed to be funny by talking about YouTube within a movie. There are some rather painful points that attempt to kowtow to the audience as if to say “what’s the deal with video buffering?” Whatever creative edge Smosh might have had in their online videos seems to have been sidelined for references and a get-the-girl plot that wears thin.

Fans of Smosh and hot YouTube talents will probably get a kick out of this collection of creators, but I tend to think about movies in the long-term. Will the youth of today still be entertained by this picture ten years from now? It’s highly unlikely given the longevity of such crazes as Afro Ninja, Annoying Orange and Fred. Many who grew up during those years are looking back on such fads with nostalgia as opposed to humor. This makes Smosh: The Movie more of a viral video snapshot of our time than a comedy that can be enjoyed out of its online audience. Any teenager who bought this DVD will most likely forget about it in a bin – only to find it years later and laugh about what they thought was cool at that age. This is disposable comedy with an expiration date which, depending on your thirst for quality content, may have already passed.

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” Review

I’m struggling to find the right words to slay Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 without using “fat” or “stupid.” It’s rather hard since that’s all there really is to the character and direction of this sequel to the 2009 picture nobody asked for. There’s no cuteness to his idiocy since he has virtually no heart. There’s no humor in the slapstick which mostly involves Kevin James falling flat on his butt. Even the fat gags were incredibly lame to the point where I expected the movie to give up and just make “you are so fat…” jokes. But there is one other word that comes to mind in the way that it is practically plastered all over the picture: sellout.

This movie was shot at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. It is the first movie to take advantage of Las Vegas’ new tax credit for shooting movies. The movie will slow down at various scenes to point out the decadent of the hotel’s interior and exterior. The owner Mr. Wynn himself shows up in the picture for a brief cameo. If this is all sounding quite familiar, you may recall the similar movie-making tactics of Happy Madison productions. Many a movie has been produced under the banner by shamelessly appealing to the location-sponsoring overlords. The cast and crew don’t seem to mind as they get a vacation out of the ordeal. Take a look at the special features for Blended where Adam Sandler and his friends seem to be having a ton of fun in Africa when not shooting their terrible romantic comedy there. I have no doubt that Kevin James and company probably had a lot of fun as well shooting in Las Vegas – more fun than the audience will ever know.

The story is practically copied and pasted from the original script with a find and replace from mall to hotel. Wouldn’t this technically make Blart a hotel cop in that he’s operating outside his domain? He attends a security guard convention to be honored for his work as the tubby hero of the earlier film. Dragging along his college-anxious daughter, the hotel comes under attack by terrorists who are smart enough to use detailed technology to steal from the building, but not smart enough to dispatch a pudgy Blart. It’s a strangely odd farce in the way Blart is able to disable such evil men in between getting beaten up by animals, hit by cars and falling on the floor from lack of sugar. His action methods don’t have some cunning nature to his weight either – he’s fat when the movie wants him to be and a lucky hero when the script wills it so. No Kung-Fu Panda style for this tubby cop.

There’s a passively lazy tone throughout the movie the way it goes through the motions. In a scene where Blart’s blood sugar is low, he crawls on the floor towards the dripping of a child’s ice cream cone. He secures a few drops in his mouth and regains his energy. Not enough energy to suddenly perk up and leap off the floor in a heroic return to form, but merely enough to slowly rise and walk away. I suppose the joke was that he consumed ice cream drops. Or maybe it was the sight of Blart crawling on the floor. Or maybe there is no joke and it was intended as a serious commentary on low blood sugar. Whatever the intent, it is alien in the way the movie will stop dead for several of these scenes that are so unfunny they have transcended boredom into a white space devoid of anything interesting on-screen.

But this time Blart has some help in the form of security guards from around the country. A chance for new and interesting characters? Nope – they’re required to be just as one-note and simple as Blart. All of them are proof of the wasted potential in this picture. There’s a large black woman who has served as a mall security guard at the Mall of America in Minnesota. She has no interesting stories to tell. She has no unique accent or traits of the region. She has no method of security that differs her from the others. But she is fat which means she can smash her chubby frame into the bad guys with ease.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is not funny, entertaining or overly offensive – it’s just a dead zone of comedy where ideas come to die and clichés come to cozy up. I sat there watching Kevin James go through the motions, slide across the floor and waddle through this tired and recycled script. I did not laugh, wince or grit at the screen. I just sat there staring off into space, getting lost in the picture and hoping that somewhere underneath the assortment of moving images was a joke. To my surprise, there was. Deep within Kevin James’ bulging eyes, I could see the reflection of the director Andy Fickman behind the camera. Peering closer, I could see into Andy’s eyes as well. And deep within his eyes I could see the true joke in all of this: it’s me. I watched this movie. I wrote about this movie. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 exists in this universe thanks to the people who watch it out of curiosity or their love for Kevin James’ brand of comedy. The joke is that a movie like Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 exists and that it can not be so easily halted by the likes of critics.

And then I realized Blart rhymes with fart – one guilty chuckle to pull myself back from the void.