PAUL BLART: MALL COP (Steve Carr). 91 minutes. Opens Friday (January 16). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: N
Paul Blart: Mall Cop takes a potentially funny premise - socially awkward underacheiving mall cop battles a gang of high-tech robbers Die Hard-style - and sticks it in the Ronco food dehydrator of comedy, removing anything resembling humour.
There are lame (and entirely predictable) gags, stupid pratfalls by sitcom Weeble Kevin James, who wobbles more than a little in the title role, and, inexplicably, an abundance of fat jokes, which are offensive not just to fat people but to fat in general (both saturated and trans).
There are moments when it seems like it's about to go over-the-top batshit insane in an awesome Bad Santa kind of way. But then the director, who's also to blame for Daddy Day Care and Dr. Dolittle 2, thinks better of it, blowing opportunities like so many johns at a hooker convention.