Australian Council on Children and the Media

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

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Not recommended under 6; parental guidance recommended 6 to 12 (Violence and themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
  • a review of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 April 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to violence and themes which may not be understood..
Children 6-12 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and themes.
Children aged 12 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild violence
Length 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is an action comedy that continues the story of Paul Blart (Kevin James), a security guard who has been struggling after the end of his marriage and the death of his mother. Paul travels with his daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) to Las Vegas for a security convention held at a very up-market casino. He has high hopes that he will finally receive some recognition for work he did at a New Jersey mall six years previously (the story told in the first film of the series).

Paul finds himself increasingly disappointed as he realises that that the convention is in fact not about celebrating his small-time victory in Jersey. While dealing with this blow to his ego, he also finds himself becoming entangled in a heist.  A group of international art thieves intend to steal invaluable items from the casino, including one of Van Gogh’s most famous works.

Although the general manager and head of security at the casino initially look down on him, Paul hopes that his accidental involvement with the thieves will enable him to redeem himself.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Crime; divorce; family relationships

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is limited violence within the film, including:

  • There are a number of fights between characters, involving manhandling as well as the use of weapons including guns and stun-guns
  • An elderly female character is accidentally hit
  • Two characters in the film are hit by a car
  • A man is attacked by a bird

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Children this age are likely to find the thieves, and the violence described above, scary.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Some children in this age group may also find the violence and thieves scary.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

There is some product placement in the film, including:

  • Steve Wynne’s Hotel is heavily advertised, as this is where the convention takes place
  • Segway
  • Sony products are seen frequently.
  • Coca Cola
  • Toyota vehicles  

Sexual references

There are mild sexual references in the film, including:

  • Brief instances where characters flirt and to make references to sex.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Social drinking
  • Possible under-age drinking at a high school party

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the second film in this series, is a comedy about a hard-working underdog looking for the recognition he deserves. The movie makes the point that awards and accolades are insignificant in comparison to genuinely loving what you do, but also demonstrates the very human desire to want validation and respect from one’s peers. The film also displays a compassionate relationship between Paul and his teenage daughter, highlighting the difficulties parents may face in regard to balancing care with overprotection.

There is some violence in the film and the themes are more likely to be understood by children aged 12 and over. Parental guidance is recommended for younger viewers.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • how the opinions of other people can impact on a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • how the life choices made by parents can affect their children.
  • body image and the results of criticising people for being overweight.

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