Observe & Report Review

Published 6 years ago by , Updated May 10th, 2009 at 9:41 am,

observe report review Observe & Report Review

This week we’re trying something different – regular Screen Rant reader “Walwus” felt so strongly about Observe & Report that he felt compelled to send us his quite extensive thoughts on the film. It was so thoughtful and complete that I decided to post it as a guest review.

Read on for his not so favorable view of Observe & Report

Observe & Report can’t decide if it wants to be in the comedy, drama or crime genre. It sticks it toe into each pool and suffers from never completely diving into any of those genres fully.

I was expecting a Pineapple Express-style comedy, or maybe a raunchy twist on Paul Blart: Mall Cop – but this comes close to neither film. Jody Hill writes and directs this and completely misses the mark. Done properly this could have been the Napoleon Dynamite of mall cops – with a raunchy drug-fused, sex-filled twist, but it falls way flat.

There a few laugh-out-loud moments in the film, but most of the time it plays painfully awkward as Rogen attempts to carry the majority of the dialog. 80-90% of the jokes are predictable, save for two or three near the end, one of which you would rather not see coming at all. I will admit to being thrown off a couple of times while trying to pick out what I assume were the bad guys but really that just made me enjoy the film even less.

Rogen can’t decide how to play Ronnie: At times he’s a super-badass and at other a complete moron. They try to explain away the inconsistencies with one line in the film about him having bi-polar disorder and then it’s never brought up again.

Hill surrounds Rogen with sub-par, underdeveloped characters: The Yuen brothers, a geri-curled Mexican guy and a slightly Albino Matt Damon lookalike, none of which serve much of a purpose in the film except for the Mexican guy – and even his role isn’t very well explained. I can actually picture the brainstorming session where the hashed out Michael Pena’s character:

“We need to make this guy stand out more, what should we do?”

“How about a bad geri-curl, a lisp, some effeminate traits and mix in some gang signs for good measure?”


Huh? Talk about a completely mixed up character. The lack of originality continues with the underused Yuan brothers, Matt and John, real life names Yuan; on screen names, Yuen. Seriously, that’s the best they could do. The dialog between these guys is so bad and poorly thought out that a scene between Ronnie and Saddamm is 60 seconds of F you’s back and forth that felt like a rip off of a Family Guy episode by going on way longer than it needed to.

Next is the poorly written Brandi, Anna Faris. She is much more talented then what is she given to work with her. How many times must she play a cleavage exposing, pill-popping, drunken slut? She’s quickly becoming Hollywood’s go-to girl for those roles and I’m not sure that’s the best thing for her career. She can play sexy without slutty and still get plenty of laughs. Her character even manages to get dated raped during the film which is sort of how I felt while watching this whole mess. The scene in question has feminists all up-in-arms but I wonder why they chose this film to protest and not the scene in “Hustle and Flow” where Terrance Howard has one of his girls trick for a piece of sound equipment.

Ray Liotta should not have been in this film at all. It’s as if someone told him that he would be in a sex scene with Anna and all he did was wait for the scene to happen so he could get paid and go home. Not that I can blame him, his character is written like every other hard-nosed, big bully cop that he has ever played so it’s not like he had to try very hard. After awhile that has to get old. His work in “Narc” was fantastic but this is as bad or worse as his character in “In the Name of the King”.

Hill tries too hard to push the boundaries or political incorrectness and it shows. Jokes range from Ronnie’s mother being a drunken whore and sleeping with his high school friends to Ronnie getting high and kicking the crap out of 15 year olds skateboarding in the parking lot. These just get lost because Hill doesn’t focus on one brand of humor and stick with it.

Lastly, the full frontal nudity has to be addressed. There is an unsettling trend happening in Hollywood right now where the producers are getting the idea that their male audience between the ages of 18 – 35 actually WANT to see full frontal male nudity. Just too clear things up, WE DO NOT! There is a huge difference between women seeing another girl doing full frontal nudity in a non-sexual type scene during a film than there is with a guy doing the same type of scene. My friends and I found ourselves staring away from the screen during the last few minutes of the film, and honestly is that what you want your audience doing? Between this and “Watchmen”’s CGI blue schlong, I’m beginning to think Hollywood might be listening to the wrong feedback groups.

Let’s hope Funny People is much better than this movie. Save your money and see Taken again.

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  1. @Ken J – nicely done. ;)

    Anytime nudity distracts from a movie, it was probably a bad move – and more times than not, male frontal nudity is an unwelcome distraction.

    I really enjoyed Watchmen. But seeing Dr. Manhattan’s manhood [i]added[/i] nothing (good/useful) to the story (his detachment to humanity was expressed in several ways). It hurts the movie every time someone makes mention of it, instead of something like the outstanding performance by Jackie Earl Haley.

  2. Actaully I thought the idea of a nude Manhattan added to how his detatchment from humanity left him without the need for clothing or other human trappings.

  3. @Darwin

    Seriously? So what you are saying is that you would rather see the Hulk jumping all over the place with his big green machine pounding tanks into the ground, because that is the only way you would consider it to be a ground breaking cinematic achievement?
    Side note – I wonder how many people would still watch movies if they divided up the nudity warning to be gender specific? Rated R for : Graphic violence, language, and pervasive MALE nudity through out, No female nudity at all.

    I bet you see a drop in attendance when that starts happening for any film. Also, we are not talking about the sculpture of “David” or a painting of Adam; what these particular film makers are doing is for purely juvenile reasons and you will not convince me otherwise.

    How about if for no apparent reason they start adding in male homosexuality just to keep it real? How would your favorite comedy appear to you then? Would you still keep your eyes on the screen the whole time while thinking to yourself “This is awesome. I’m very mature for making my self watch this. I feel like grown up now!” No, I don’t think you would.

    (Btw, the Hulk thing I was talking about wouldn’t have fit in the movie at all but might have been quite humorous to watch on the DVD)

  4. I’ll go see Hannah Montana instead…

  5. People forget that the female equivalent of male full frontal is not female full frontal, as in the latter you see nothing but hair, but rather the kind of crotch shot you see in girlie mags, and we dont see many of those in mainstream movies either. This is probably also the reason why females handle nudity better, there’s simply nothing to see but with men it’s all swinging in the breeze so to speak.

  6. I saw this movie last night, and i have to say i enjoyed it very much. I Went in to the movie expecting a mall security guard version of pineapple express, instead is saw something different. As i watched this movie i felt a Fight Club vibe ( quite possibly because the end climatic scene in both films had the same song) But while the movie was very funny, I saw a lot more in it. Strangely enough i left with a “Feel Good” type of feeling. Then i realized it because a lot of people missed the point that he is Bi-Polar. Call me sentimental but i just though it was more then a penis joke ‘movie. I don’t agree with the comment that Rogan didn’t know how to play the character, its that he was play somebody who is Bi-Polar( if you check out http://www.bipolar.com/what_is_bipolar/what_is_bipolar.html i think you would have a better understanding of the character. I also think the scene where he beat all those cops asses with the flash light kicked ass. That’s my take of the film, i would see it again and i will actually buy it when it comes out, its that worthy to me.

  7. This was one of the worst movies i saw in a theater in a while, i love seth rogen too, but even that couldn’t save it for me. he played such an unlikeable f*#@$ng wierdo, i couldn’t stand him, by the time he’s beating up all the cops in that scene, i was actually yelling out loud in the theater, ” what is the point of this movie!”,lol , terrible

  8. Vic, I agree with you completely. It is long past the time to start seeing as much female frontal nudity as male frontal nudity. For some reason, females believe that since there are many films that show breasts that showing male genitals is equal. However, showing breasts IS NOT equal to showing the genitals. There have been an abundance of films showing just male frontal nudity and it has become disturbing. Have many young males become non caring and so submissive that they are willing to see male exposure film after film without demanding an equal amount of female exposure ???? How pathetic !!!! It is time for the heterosexual males to to take a stand and insist on equality or stay away from this type of injustice.

  9. ok seriously in movies we dont see women’s vaginas but we see guy penis. im not saying guys want to see vagina but that would be considered equal. i dont think a few boobs is the same as seeing a guys penis. girls flant their boobs as a guy could show off his pecks or abs that is equal, and a butt for a butt is equal. i just dont really want to go see a movie and sit there with my girlfriend looking a guys penis.

  10. I have been seeing boobs from a long time ago on movies, from almost every angle or industry, and seldom, you got a sight of a not too much overexposed vagina or surroundings.
    What was really unusual was male full frontal nudity. Only the more ‘artsy’ or pretentious films dared to show some.
    I guess some similar thing happened with graphical or gratuitious child violence:
    Some years ago, a real rarity on film, but nowaday a tool to ‘shock’ audiences. Give them something to look away or talk about at the end of film.

  11. @jamie – Soooo…your reasoning for seeing a naked guy on-screen is that you are tired of seeing naked girls on-screen and you’re reasoning why “most younger girls are bi” (btw what kind of research did you do to verify THAT information?)is because of all the girl nudity that makes it onto screen?

    Let me tell you my problem…this movie, as are most other movies of this genre, are geared and marketed towards the 18-35 MALE audience! Now unless something has changed in the past, oh say, forever! then 90+% of 18-35 males do not want to see another dude’s junk. Porno can be excluded because there is hot girl or two to draw the focus away.

    Now, if you are thrilled to see some fat ugly dude’s peter flop dangling about then by all means brother, enjoy the hell out of it. As for me, no thanks.

  12. ok paul its not about the guys looks its about the fact there is so much girl nudity and no guy nudity. girls have to see other girls naked all the time but guys can’t see alittle scene of another guy naked. And yes i did alot of research and talked to bi sexuals about it.And the nudity in movies have gone way to far they take a bad movie like this put a bunch of naked people in it and guys are atomaticly watching it. then put a naked guy in it and the movies is atomaticly bad. put a bunch of naked girls in it its atomaticly good. no matter that the story line sucks. its not hard to gear a movie towards 18 to 35yr old males. just put a bunch of naked girls in it some stupid lines and call it a movie but put some fat naked guy in it to be funny like that sahra marshel movie and its how dare they. so paul you can’t see a guys penis in a movie(affraid your going to turn gay)

  13. @jamie – you nailed it bud! I don’t find it appealing to look at a guy’s “rooster” because I myself am afraid of turning gay. You got me cornered on being homophobic.

    I also do not like watching movies with people eating vegetables because I am afraid of becoming a Vegetarian, same with people in airplanes and Aerophobia. I passed on all 3 Spider man films just in case I got Arachnophobia.

    Seriously dude, I’ve never been in a theater when a guy’s “Robin Hood” has popped out of Sherwood Forest and they go “Oh Shat! That was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!” But maybe that is what you find funny.

  14. Lol your an idiot Paul

  15. Wow, I think I jumped into this one at a very bad time… *jumps back out* lol :-D

  16. @Oscar – Heh…yeah my wife tells me that all the time. :)

  17. Lololololol lucky, my wife hits me :(

  18. This reviewer obviously has no understanding of or empathy for the mental illness and resultant social isolation embodied in the protagonist of Observe and Report. The accurate and compelling portrayal of the dysfunctional environment, cognitive difficulties, and minimized opportunities for him and the other similarly situated characters in the film may not fit well with the reviewers’ comfy arm-length view of other people, but it more humanistically portrays a difficult condition than any film since “The Cable Guy”.

    “You can take your f*ng badge, and your gun, and shove them up your f*ing butt, because I don’t need any of that s*** to know who I am. F* you. F* everyone of you. I win.”
    “Way to go, Ronnie.”

  19. Wow.

    “Save your money and see Taken again”.

    I thought Taken sucked ass, and this movie is probably my favorite Seth Rogen movie.

    “Let’s hope Funny People is much better than this movie”

    Better? Yes. Funnier? Not even.