By Jack Rico
Rated: R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence.
Release Date: 2009-04-10
Starring: Jody Hill
Official Website: http://observe-and-report.warnerbros.com/
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Observe and Report is a bizarre film whose laughs are rooted in shock comedy. This is highlighted by the last 5 minutes which will either culminate with your fascination by the scene or by you heaving at the person next to you. The choice will be yours. I’m curious to know which one you will pick. Nevertheless, the laughs aren’t as frequent and the storytelling process is nowhere in sight.
This movie comes at the heels of January’s surprise hit “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” – coincidence? It was written and directed by Jody Hill, whose underground hit “The Foot Fist Way” who brought an exploration of a main character who is reprehensible, delusional, and foolish.
Seth Rogen stars as a bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt who is called into action to stop a flasher from molesting his “mall crush” (Anna Faris) and turning shopper’s paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can’t bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective (Ray Liotta) is recruited to close the case.
The cast is top notch, but perhaps the one who stands out most is comedy princess Anna Faris (Scary Movie, The House Bunny). Getting laughs is hard to do and she manages to make me laugh out loud in every scene she is in. Mexican-American actor Michael Peña, known for his dramatic performances, is another one who provided perhaps me with the loudest laughs halfway through the film. His character, Dennis, was undeniably underused. His screen time barely hits ten minutes, but he was a scene stealer from the very moment he was on.
What I can promise you is that you will laugh at this film, it is just a matter of whether you will feel right doing it. The director, Hill, takes perverse pleasure in getting laughs at whatever costs as he pushes the boundaries of what is funny and what isn’t.