"Ronnie is a mall cop with big dreams: he wants to be a cop. Partly to carry a gun, partly so people will finally respect him. When a flasher appears on his turf, it's war--especially when one of the victims is Brandi, the makeup-counter girl whom Ronnie has a crush on. But when a real detective intrudes in the case, Ronnie decides to take matters in his own hands--to win respect, to win the case, and to win the girl.
OBSERVE AND REPORT is perhaps the darkest comedy in ages. Seth Rogen does not play Ronnie as a beloved character, as many a lesser actor would; in Rogen's hands, Ronnie is a borderline-sociopath, a bipolar loser who is as hilariously aloof as he is dangerous. Anna Farris, as Brandi, is a comedic delight as always; she throws her self-esteem to the wind in order to wring the last little laugh from every scene. Michael Pena, as Ronnie's sidekick, is a scene-stealer. However, it's Ray Liotta who walks away with the only character to hold his own against Ronnie; as Detective Harrison, Liotta is tough and unforgiving, and the climax between the two ends the only way it could (though you'll be holding your breath the whole way).
In other words, Jody Hill's OBSERVE AND REPORT is the darkest of dark comedies, often bordering on a (non-supernatural) horror movie; the comparisons it's garnered to TAXI DRIVER are well-founded, and often-times you don't know whether to wince or laugh. Hill doesn't just take things too far; he takes them to limits no one else would dare to. OBSERVE AND REPORT is not a comedy for the squeamish, but it's certainly a film for those of us who don't mind a few chills with our humorous thrills."
New King of Comedy
Acid | Rogers, AR USA | 11/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not to say that writer/director Jody Hill is the new Scorscese (he's not), but I was constantly reminded of Scorscese's early 80s disturbo-comedy "King of Comedy" when watching this. Whereas Scorscese uses stark realism, though, Hill uses the conventions and expectations of modern comedy to nail us. This could have easily been another crude and rude comedy along the lines of Superbad or Pineapple Express. Those (hell, most) comedies made today feature borderline-sociopathic, emotionally-retarded, and hopelessly immature males. Hill simply tips his characters over the edge. There is no denying that Ronnie (Seth Rogan) is a full-blown psychopath. What's surprising is how close this character is to every other character Seth Rogan has ever played! Your reaction to this film will be greatly effected by your expectations. If you expect an extremely dark, yet often silly, film instead of yet another "Superbad" or, god forbid, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop", you should not be disappointed in the least. "
If anything, I was surprised when I discovered its dark come
Renfield | Edmonton, Canada | 01/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Upon going into the theatre for "Observe and Report" on its opening day, I was under the impression that I was about to see an 18A-rated Mall Cop.
Boy, was I surprised when I found out how wrong I was.
Nevertheless, dark comedies have always been something I've had a knack for, and if you're expecting a "Mall Cop for adults", you best not even touch the DVD. Because believe me, Observe and Report is a dark, twisted, and VERY violent romp through bi-polar disorder, drug use, date rape, and a man running around and flashing people.
If I haven't put you off seeing this movie, you can continue reading this review.
Yeah, something tells me I put a bunch of people off watching this movie just by that comment in the above paragraph alone. The 2.5 star out of 5 rating is caused mostly by people who walked into this movie not knowing the dark film they were about to see, and expecting a sex comedy. If anything, I was surprised when I decovered its dark comedy. Nonetheless I enjoyed it quite a bit. Fronted by Seth Rogen, Observe and Report is the chronicles of an every-day man with bipolar disorder and the obnoxious tendencies that consume him.
Seth Rogen plays Ronnie Barndhart, a security guard at a shopping mall in New Mexico. He has bipolar disorder, which does get him in quite a bit of trouble. He lives with his mom, who is an alcoholic, but loves him dearly. He enjoys seeing the incredibly cute Nell at the coffee shop every day and getting free coffee from her, and enjoys talking to Brandi, who works in the makeup department of a Sears-type store.
However, a streaker has been wreaking havoc at the mall. He goes around flashing people in the parking lot and in the mall. Ronnie, and the rest of the security team have a plan to take the streaker and turn him in to the police department. One day, on her way to work, the streaker flashes Brandi, mentally scarring her. After talking to her and comforting her, Ronnie seems to develop displays of affection towards Brandi and even asks her out. The rest of the movie turns into a twisted and violent romp that is definitely not for the prudish, but most definitely NOT for the faint of heart!
Observe and Report is a brutal and twisted movie, but that's to say that I enjoyed it immensely! In fact, I like to look at this movie as a twisted stage play. This could actually work as a really good stage play, as the writing had sort of a theatrical feel to it, as if the story could work well on stage too. Rogen turns in a wonderful performance as Ronnie, our bipolar anti-hero for the 86 minutes. Anna Faris also excels here, with her portrayal of the adorably slutty Brandi. All of the cast seems to be especially great here, with no question.
As the film approaches its last 30 minutes, you feel as if you dunno whether or not you're watching the movie or having a REALLY messed up dream. There is a date-rape scene in there that has caused outrage among some viewers, which, if looked at correctly, is rather darkly funny (I think rape is a horrible but it was done humorously). The violence, especially for a comedy, is surprisingly brutal- and even exaggerated in some aspects too. The dark tones are evident there, as you see some of the most twisted stuff in film ever. But that said... it's really good.
I can see why people would hate this movie. It certainly is NOT for everybody. So many will hate it and so few will actually et the point of it. But if you lower your expectations, this is a movie that is very enjoyable, and for that, remains a personal favorite of mine.
IN TOTAL: Entertainment: 8/10 Sex: 4/10, or 3/10 if you don't count date rape Violence: 6/10 Laughs: quite a few, but this is no laugh riot Brutality: 10+/10 Rogen: Managed to pull it off very well Surrealism: Am I watching a movie or having a messed up dream? Litres of Tomato Ketchup: One 2L heinz bottle, rapidly squeezed at an alarming rate
A Square Peg In A World Of Round Holes
Robert M. Bell | Tallahassee, FL | 01/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I understand why most people didnt like this film, but it is really too bad. Not everything in this world is going to fit into your preconceived ideas of the way things should be. The good guys dont always win, and the heroes aren't always nice. Observe and Report is a great example of that. The "hero" in this film, Ronnie, continues down a path of monumentally bad moral and legal decisions. All the while believing that he is valiant and just. This, combined with his way of dealing with his own metal shortcomings, makes him horribly endearring. The humor in this film is all around, if you just let yourself stop taking it so seriously. I mean, really, haven't you ever just wanted to smack one of those skateboard rinding mall punks around just once? I joke, but that is the flavor of the film. None of the characters in this film are the kind of people that you want to know, but they are fun to watch."
Observe and Report
Arnita D. Brown | USA | 03/07/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ronnie Barnhardt lives with his alcoholic mother. He's chief security guard at Forest Ridge Mall, where he's in love with Brandi, a cosmetic sales clerk, and gets a free coffee each day from Nell, a cheery clerk in the food court. A flasher haunts the mall's parking lot, and at night, thefts occur. Ronnie is intent on catching the criminals but has no investigative skills, is delusional about his abilities, and makes mad accusations. His bête noire is Detective Harrison, the city cop sent to investigate. Ronnie thinks he could be an officer, thinks he stands a chance with Brandi, and slowly loses his self control. Many people are turned off by this movie, Its easily one of the darkest comedies I've ever seen. There is some brutal violence, use of heroin and even essentially a date rape. But perhaps the darkest element of the story is Ronnie (Seth Rogen). This character is so twisted but fear not this movie is funny and sometimes extreme. You won't get what you expect, but if you see this movie, you just might enjoy it. "