Observe and Report

"OK"

Observe and Report Review


Some people take their jobs way too seriously. Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogan), head of security at a local shopping mall, is one of those people. Thus, when management receives reports about illicit activity occurring on the premises, he takes them very personally. Beside the complaints about a pervert exposing himself to women in the parking lot, after-hours robberies are taking place on a regular basis. Ronnie alerts his security staff to be on high alert, but all of their brains put together couldn't solve a three-letter crossword puzzle.

When a cosmetics counter employee named Brandi (Anna Faris) becomes the pervert's latest victim, management calls a police detective (Ray Liotta) to help catch him. Ronnie is livid that his supervisors have outsourced an investigative team. He feels that he's perfectly capable of handing the case, and would love to prove it to Brandi to win her affection. He quickly discovers, however, that Brandi's "affection" isn't difficult to win.

Soon, Ronnie decides it's time to move on to bigger and better things (i.e. a job with a gun). He visits the local police department, learns about recruitment, and jumps right into the testing process. He passes the physical exam with flying colors, but fails the psychological exam after revealing a bipolar disorder and a morbid desire to shoot things. Ronnie is forced back into shopping mall security. Or is he?

At first glance, Observe and Report looks like an R-rated version of Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Don't be fooled by the advertisements, though. The film is anything but a friendly stroll down comedy lane. Observe and Report is dark, violent, and twisted, complete with startling scenes of alcoholism, heroin use, vandalism, borderline rape, child abuse, extreme profanity, and the sight of an obese man with a small penis running around naked.

That's not to say these things aren't funny. Quite often, they're downright hilarious, just as long as your inhibitions have been left at the door. Writer-director Jody Hill gives Observe and Report a fearless audacity, laced with the kind of humor that dirty-minded adolescents would concoct while drinking beer and smoking weed. It's humor that you're afraid to laugh at, in fear of social judgment.

Observe and Report unfortunately begins to unravel at the halfway point. That's when stuff gets weird, when things start happening that are so outrageous, you're sure Ronnie's having a dream -- but he's not. The film becomes a pubescent fantasy where the characters act like they're inside a cartoon and there are simply no consequences for their actions. It would be one thing if the movie set itself up as a fantasy from the beginning, but it doesn't, and the rapid change of pace is awkward and confusing. We're never quite sure what to make of it.

Furthermore, Observe and Report introduces lots of characters and subplots, but fails to develop them. We wait patiently for the comic payoffs that are seemingly promised during the first and second acts, but they seldom come full circle. Instead, the film forgets about its original ideas and focuses on being as random as possible. By the end, we don't understand the film's humor anymore. But we definitely want some of whatever it was that the filmmakers were smoking while making the last half of the thing.

Don't call him a "mall cop."



Observe and Report

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th April 2009

Box Office USA: $24.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $24M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Legendary Pictures, De Line Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Fresh: 102 Rotten: 99

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jody Hill

Producer:

Starring: as Ronnie Barnhardt, as Brandi, as Dennis, as Detective Harrison, as Nell, as Caucasian Crackhead, as Saddamn

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.