Back in 2009, this critic drew the short straw and was assigned by my cruel editor to cover the movie "Paul Blart Mall Cop." The film featured "King of Queens" star Kevin James as an overweight, simple-minded, Segway riding mall security guard with delusions of grandeur who ends up foiling a bank robbery and getting the girl. The film is as flat as can be: a laugh-free, dim-bulb wallow in “fat guy” humor and tacky action set pieces. After the press screening, I found myself in a hotel room interviewing James and he was such a sweetheart that I truly felt sorry for him having to be trapped in such cinematic slop.
That pity was unwarranted, however as "Blart" when on to become a surprise box-office hit. And now, five years later, James is back in his button-straining white work shirt, wheeling through the running time of "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2." But instead of riffing on the film itself, we’ve opted to turn our attentions to a slew of other studio sequels that nobody really asked for. Some are follow-ups to iconic films that should have remained one-shots; some are companions to pictures that weren’t very good to begin with. But one thing’s for sure: all of them stink!
The original "Grease" was based on a beloved musical and the film was and remains an immaculate confection, with high-energy, endlessly singable tunes, John Travolta in peak form and groovy dance numbers. The woefully inept, Travolta-free, "Grease 2" has a young Michelle Pfeiffer doing her best to make songs about bowling work. She can’t.