Thursday, January 22, 2009

In Praise of Paul Blart (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on the Mall Cop, who, unlike his counterparts employed by the state, actually protects and serves:

Mall CopWhen tyrants rule, jesters often boldly tell truths that falter on the lips of fear-plagued philosophers. Perhaps this explains why, amid the consolidation of a totalitarian Homeland Security State, it fell to Kevin James, gifted comic actor, mixed martial arts fan, and cinematic role model for economy-sized American men, to put into play the notion that we would be better off doing away with government police forces outright, and entrusting security to private citizens and entrepreneurs.

James co-wrote, co-produced, and stars in the new movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop, a modestly produced family comedy whose immense opening weekend success (it took in something north of $34 million, or nearly twice what the studio expected) surprised everyone but the viewing public. Dismissed by most professional critics but warmly reviewed by paying customers, the film displays every indication of becoming the sleeper hit of Hollywood's post-Christmas discard season.

I earnestly hope the film generates a wave of positive word-of-mouth, not only because it is a nearly ideal family film -- genuinely funny and engaging, wholesome without being insipid -- but also because it is gently subversive in promoting the idea that the increasingly militarized government law enforcement system is at best useless.

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