This afternoon I went to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. It was not our first choice, but that’s what we get for relying on a Dominican movie theater’s website for showtimes. It turned out to be a good one though and not just because we had the theater to ourselves. (Nobody else wanted to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 at 4:40pm on a Saturday afternoon? Weird.) I enjoy a Kevin James comedy, always have, but as funny as he was, Paul Blart was not my favorite character in the movie. No, for me, the best part of the movie was Paul’s daughter, Maya. (Spoilers ahead.)
In the Mall Cop sequel, Paul and his daughter Maya are off to Las Vegas for some kind of security guard convention, which means we get to meet a lot of very interesting security guards. Of course, there is something fishy going on at the hotel and Paul gets down to business, using his security guard training, to figure out what’s going on and solve the case. He falls down a lot, gets himself in and out of sticky situations (sometimes literally sticky), and shares a lot of really funny exclamations. But, like I said, it’s Maya who stole the show in my mind. Here are some reasons why Maya’s the bomb.
1. The movie starts with her getting accepting to UCLA. She’s smart and driven.
2. Almost immediately upon arrival in Las Vegas Maya meets super cute valet Lane (played by David Henrie). Throughout the movie he invites her to hang out by the pool and to a party with his friends. He also buys her an adorable gift that turns out to be more than just a trinket. She totally snags a hunk, is what I’m saying, but doesn’t make a big deal out of it.
3. When (HERE COMES THE SPOILER) Maya and Lane get kidnapped/held hostage, it’s Maya who listens and observes, hiding away knowledge for future use. It’s Maya who uses what she has to disengage a hotel room lock. It’s Maya who has the pocket knife the duo use to cut up bed sheets for an escape rope. It’s Maya who uses the knowledge gained by listening-in to ultimately take down the bad guy. Maya is no damsel in distress. She may be being held hostage, but she doesn’t just sit around and wait for her dad to rescue her and she doesn’t wait for Lane to come up with a plan. She gets the job done.
4. Maya is a woman of color (of Mexican descent) and she’s also not sporting the typical leading-lady body type. She is playing Paul Blart’s daughter, after all. Yet her weight is never mentioned EVER. Not even as a joke.
5. Maya cares about her dad and is willing to sacrifice her dreams to love him best. Of course, in the end, Paul fully supports her decision to go to UCLA.
I heartily applaud the team behind Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 for writing a character like Maya. She is a character I can actually look up to, for her ingenuity, creativity, and loving support of her father. Not to mention her fashion sense. Check out those ruffles!