Home > 2009 Movie Reviews > Observe and Report Review

Observe and Report Review


Observe and Report

Observe and Report was poor attempt at comedy. I have never seen a more dislikable character (protagonist) on screen.

My rating 2.0 Stars

There aren’t many stories that I’m not willing to entertain. I am more than willing to accept any ridiculous plot or suspend reality in the name of entertainment. However, sometimes movie makers go too far. Jody Hill’s second film Observe and Report, a black “comedy” staring Seth Rogen, is one of those absurd movies. Observe and Report was neither funny nor entertaining. I did not like this movie at all. It was way out there and not in a good way. Granted it wasn’t as bad as Miss March, but I still can’t recommend this film to anyone.

Seth Rogen stars as Ronnie Barnhard the cocky, head security guard at the Forest Ridge Mall. Ronnie suffers from bipolar disorder and has an eerie fascination with guns. He’s the type of person who takes his job way too seriously. He also considers himself to be superior to real lawmen for some reason. He has no real social skills mainly because he thinks he’s above everyone. He is just not a very liable character. Basically, he’s an asshole! I never did identify with him in the least. Although, to be honest, he did remind me of a couple of people that I am sorry to say I know.

One day a flasher started terrorizing the shoppers at the mall. Ronnie was very angry because he was unable to catch him. The flasher came back and once again he managed to escape and this really pissed off Ronnie, but what drove him to the edge was that his boss decided to do the right thing and call the police to try to find this pervert. Ronnie felt as though he was the one responsible for doing the investigation as if he had any real training in how to solve a crime.

Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) is brought in to do the investigating. At first the detective was happy to humor Ronnie. I want to believe that he just saw him as just some poor shmuck in a dead end job and he thought he would be a nice guy and let him pretend to lead the investigation, like he would have done with a child. However, things start to get out of hand and soon enough Ronnie is taking over the whole investigation and interfering with the detective’s witnesses. Finally the detective has had enough. He lost his temper and blew up at Ronnie. Of course Ronnie saw this as a sign that the detective was jealous of his work. He actually thought that he had real leads, when all he ever did was accuse random people.

This little experience made Ronnie even cockier and if possible less likable. He decided that maybe he should go for broke and become a real police officer. He went to the local police precinct to get information about how to join the force. He passed the physical, the aptitude test, and the eye exam; he passed everything except for one small detail, they declared him mentally incompetent because of his bipolar issues.

There is one good scene in this movie that I think sums up the whole story. Detective Harrison can’t stand Ronnie in the least. He even went as far as to drop him off in a really bad neighborhood during his car ride and practically left him for dead. Ronnie was a source of entertainment for the cops because of his attitude and cockiness. So when the detective found out that they had denied his application, he thought it would be funny to deliver the news himself while some of the other cops hid in a closet so that they could laugh at him. Childish right, but that’s not the good part. The good part is that the detective led Ronnie to think that he had been accepted and then he comes out with that because of his bipolar issues they had to deny his entry. Ronnie was devastated and for a short moment you feel sorry for him. No one in the closet laughed. One officer finally came out of the closet and said to the detective, “I thought this would be funny, but it’s not!” And that right there sums up the entire movie.

I love Seth Rogen, I think he is a funny comedian and he has done some really funny work in the past. This was not one of them. There really wasn’t much to laugh at in this movie. Perhaps if they hadn’t made his character to be such an ass, maybe if they had made him a little more likable, it would at least have been a good drama and not a dumb comedy. As for Jody Hill, if this is the best he can do, I am not impressed.

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