April 11, 2009
Review - " Observe and Report " - (in Theaters) By Roland Hansen
For comments or to submit a movie review for possible inclusion on Delta Films site
please send an email to Critics@deltafilms.net
Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) of the local police gets involved in the flasher investigation and then again later when
someone robs the mall’s shoe store in the middle of the night. Ronnie first objects to this interference on his home turf, but
he then decides to follow his dreams of becoming a real cop himself, a path that naturally leads to disaster, particularly
since he gave all his klonazapam (prescribed to treat his bi-polar disorder) to a drunken Brandi.
Things go from bad to worse to violent and you’ll find yourself squirming more and more over Ronnie’s cluelessly destructive
behavior. Not that those surrounding him are any better — Brandi’s an airhead substance abuser who'll screw any guy who
will buy her a few tequila shots (in other word my kinds girl!), Detective Harrison is a vain jerk and Ronnie's mom is a
There is some redemption to be found in the film, but never at the expense of the characters’ verisimilitude. Writer-director
Jody Hill for the most part refuses to give us one of those sweeping, life-changing catharsis moments that always happen in
the movies but never in real life; these people pretty much go on doing what they’ve always done and what they’re always
going to do.
The cast - which also includes veteran character actress Celia Weston giving a hilarious but completely unsentimental
performance as Ronnie’s drunken mom - is uniformly excellent, but this is Rogen’s show all the way.
He’s established himself as a fine comic actor in the last few
years with charming star turns in films like “Knocked Up”,
“Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” and "Pineapple Express" but
“Observe and Report” represents the biggest challenge
Rogen has faced as a performer. He does manage to
succeed at making us want to keep watching someone so
deeply flawed and delusional and we do manage to feel a
modicum of sympathy for this loser. While there are a number
of laugh out loud moments overall the film just isn't funny
enough to overcome the creepiness and utter worthlessness
of most of the characters. While I am sure a lot of people are
going to love this movie I'm just not one of them. It was OK
but I came away from the theater feeling dirty, I needed to
wash up so as not to get infected.
Observe and Report
Directed By: Jody Hill
Starring: Seth Rogen, Ray Liotta, Michael Pena, Anna Faris, Collette Wolfe
The trailers make it look like a movie you've seen a thousand times before,
most recently under the title “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” — bumbling mall cop
outsmarts the police and solves a crime in order to win the love of his lady.
Trust me when I say that almost none of the story plays out quite that way.
While teddy bear Kevin James' Paul Blart is a lovable loser - Seth Rogen's
Ronnie Barhhardt is a psychotic delusional loser.
Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen) is a rent-a-cop - sorry, “Head of Mall Security”
- at a run-of-the-mill shopping complex whose mundane existence is rocked
when a flasher shows up in the parking lot, exposing himself to unsuspecting
women, including make-up salesperson Brandi (Anna Faris), whom the nerdy
and socially awkward Ronnie has long admired from afar (actually stalked is
closer to it).
And when I say “nerdy and socially awkward,” I don’t mean the kind of
character Michael Cera usually plays, the shy frog waiting for the right girl to
turn him into a prince. In this case, I mean the kind of creepy and inappropriate
weirdo you’d cross the food court to avoid.