08
Apr
09

Movie Review: Observe and Report

observe_and_report

 

Better than most Will Farrell comedies…

 

Stars Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Ray Liotta, and Michael Pena. Directed by Jody Hill.

 

Okay, let me say this first: no, this is NOT a Will Farrell movie. I could imagine Farrell playing Rogen’s role. The “arrogant doofus” has become prevalent in comedies and is getting on my nerves.

 

The arrogant doofus at large, i.e. Seth Rogen, is Ronnie Barnhardt. He lives with his alcoholic mother and is the inept head of security at the local mall. He is a rent-a-cop with delusions of grandeur and a bloated sense of purpose so much so that one of the vendors has a restraining order out on him (and he still works at the mall? Uh, script coach!) His crew include the twin brothers Yuan (Matt and John Yuen), a food court guy (Jesse Plemons), and his second-in-command Dennis (Michael Pena), a Hispanic who talks with a lisp.

 

A streaker (Randy Gambill) flashes several people in the parking lot and Ronnie is on the case. Sort of. When his love interest/infatuation cosmetics girl Brandi (Faris) is “flashed” by the pervert, Ronnie’s infatuation turns to determination of finding the guy at all costs. Enter Detective Harrison (Liotta). Harrison wants to do what’s right but continually gets hindered by Ronnie’s blundering incompetence. If you or I were in this movie, we would pretty much be on Harrison’s side.

 

This is the crux of the movie.

 

Don’t get me wrong; there are funny moments in this movie with some even being laugh-out-loud. For the most part it’s a 90-minute distraction from the reality you are escaping, much like the one Ronnie is. Kudos to the music department for picking out a great soundtrack. Queen has at least two song selections in this one proving that if you’re lamenting or kicking ass, they’re the defacto rock band.

 

As a movie, again it’s a good diversion if you’ve got nothing else cramming your schedule. As a film, it falls flat. It seems that there was heart in making it, but the technical details were lacking. A subtheme about thefts in the mall was glazed-over and reappears momentarily and then treated with shrugged shoulders. At some point in the middle of the movie the entire thing unravels and becomes a bunch of non sequitur jokes until the filmmakers had to be thinking “we gotta wrap this thing up!” and got back on track for the ending.

 

To end Ronnie finds true love, self worth, and he captures the streaker, but I’m not gonna tell you how. If you really want to know, I guess you’ll have to go see it. Or feel free to watch its distant cousin, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.”

 

Watch for Danny McBride (“Tropic Thunder,” “The Foot Fist Way”) as a crackhead.

 

My grade: C

 

 

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