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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.