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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