Observe and Report
A darker, un-funny version of Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Is everyone else tired of Seth Rogen, or is it just me? I’m tired of seeing Rogen play the same character in every movie – a bumbling idiot who tries to make sure that every line to leave his mouth is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard. Thank heaven that in Observe and Report Rogen doesn’t play that character. As much. But even then, the new Rogen doesn’t make Observe and Report worth viewing.
Observe and Report is basically the complete opposite film as Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Paul Blart was a PG family film with cheesy action and corny gimmicks. Observe and Report is R-rated for every reason possible and features a plot for those who don’t mind full male nudity – especially slow-motion 300-pound-male nudity.
The movie opens with a trenchcoat wearing streaker flashing his goods to patrons in a mall parking lot. Seth Rogen’s character, Ronnie Barnhardt, makes it his mission to catch the flasher and save the beautiful-but-ditzy make-up saleswoman (Anna Faris, the Scary Movies) from a cosmetics store. That’s as much of a plot as you get. The rest of this 82 minute charade is filled with sub-plots (like Ronnie trying out for the police academy and doing drugs with a coworker) and pointless slow-motion shots that feel like ripped from the Beastie Boys “Sabotage” music video.
Though there are plenty of good comedic moments, the bad outweighs the good. The major problem with the movie is that there isn’t a single main character you care for. First off, through the course of the movie, bi-polar Ronnie stops taking his meds. It feels like he can, at any moment, become the next “mall shooter.” He’s a jerk that’s rude to everyone. If he was my employee, he would’ve been fired a long time ago. And Anna Faris’ character, Brandi, is a self-centered snot that will sleep with anyone who can benefit her in any way. The only reason Ronnie likes her is because of her looks.
Other than a fully naked sprinting male, Observe and Report doesn’t have a single thing in it that will be remembered. While some may see it and enjoy it, it’s a movie that will be easily forgotten the second Rogen makes another movie. Observe and Report is Rogen’s failed attempt at pulling off a dark, Adam Sandler-like Punch-Drunk Love performance. Only it doesn’t work. If you’re in the mood for a great adult comedy, my recommendation is still I Love You, Man.