Observe and Report
Starring Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, and Ray Liotta
Directed by Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way)
Rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content, and violence
Appropriate for ages 18+
Seth Rogen is Ronnie Barnhardt a delusional mall cop that thinks he is the baddest security officer to ever hold a night stick. When a flasher in the mall parking lot sets his sights on Ronnie’s dream girl (Faris), he turns into a sick vigilante that will do anything to find and kill the sexual predator.
If you couldn’t tell from the above description, Ronnie isn’t a wannabe Paul Blart. This is a dark, offensive, and sometimes disturbing comedy that pulls no punches. I have to admit that I found much of the film to be very funny, but some of the shock value moments were a bit too much. The violence and drugs are not done for comedy sake here, but rather to take the audience down a twisted spiral that it might not fully appreciate. You could almost describe this film as a heavy drama with lots of jokes, rather than a dark comedy.
What I found really interesting here is that there is only one decent character in the film. Everyone else is a despicable human being. That being said, the cast did a great job telling the story by playing off of each others disgusting caricatures. As for writer/director Jody Hill, he is really making a splash in Hollywood with his anti-hero comedies like this, Foot Fist Way, and HBO’s East Bound and Down. There is obviously an audience for this brand of humor, but I’m not sure how long it will last. B+