Observe and Report (2009)


I really don’t get what this film was hoping to achieve, I mean I kind of do as in I get they wanted to make a dark comedy but I found no laughter in this frankly obscene series of events, Seth Rogen is good as the lead mall cop but apart from that it’s too full of black ideas without enough comedy to rectify those situations.

Written and directed by Jody Hill this movie focuses on a bi-polar mall cop named Ronnie (Seth Rogen) who has the chance to tackle two cases in the shopping centre he looks over. One concerns a flasher who upsets the make up girl that Ronnie is besotted with; Brandi (Anna Faris) and the other is surrounding the mystery of a nighttime burglar in the mall. Ronnie gets annoyed and upset that his superior brings in the outside help of detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) to solve the crimes so he does all he can to prove himself as better than he actually is.

It just annoys me looking up and seeing the reviewer’s quote of “spectacularly funny” because it isn’t. I know comedy is opinion but this film delivers more on the thick grimy side of humour than making it all good with the lighter side. I can understand the certain points that would gain a chuckle or chortle from audiences and to be fair there are some scenes that made me laugh but on the whole I feel they came out of uncomfortable laughter. It only needed some funnier moments that weren’t reliant on the shock factor and it could have been a wholly different and better movie.

The worrying moments are awkward and yes funny because of that but some things seem to go just that bit too far and question why you’re sticking with watching this movie. There’s streaking, beatings, shooting up and date rape. This last point really is of concern as I think they thought the scene would be funny but it’s not. Full stop. It works briefly with the stupid and up and down nature of Ronnie but there’s no need for it to be honest. The more violent angle for a comedy can be quite amusing as you see Ronnie dispatch crackheads and policemen with an ease and flair that comes out of nowhere making you laugh. See, that’s the surprise factor that elicits laughs not the sheer usage of something through and through out there in terms of wrongness.

Seth Rogen does well as the cop who sees himself as a grander persona than he truly is. You believe he’s deluded, awkward and alone. The scenes back home living with his alcoholic mother help you come further to this conclusion but aside from his convincing role as the unlikable yet sometimes likable his character arc does nothing for the imagination and the end is so predictable. Anna Faris plays the dumb blonde well riffing on the image of the make-up counter chick, her doe eyes and bosomy looks fully peg her as that gossipy unintelligent worker and she plays it greatly really making you dislike her for other things she does, her crying scene is brilliant though, another rare moment of funny. I have to give mention to Michael Pena who plays Ronnie’s best friend Dennis who is one of the better characters throughout and he gets gifted a darker turn too though all the time his choice of voice leans towards the sound of South Park’s Kanye West.

Definitely mean and dark in content but I just can’t grasp the comedy genre it’s apparently in. It’s pushing too far and there’s no good consequence or acceptable reason for this decision from Jody Hill. Seth Rogen does enough to keep you there until the end but there’s no payoff, big laughs or awesome twist by the end to make you happy you sat through a bleak and mostly unfunny movie.



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