Friday, 6 November 2009

Observe and Report: DVD Review

Observe and Report: DVD Review

Observe and Report
Cast: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Ray Liotta
Director: Jody Hill
Released by Warner Bros Video
Restricted 16
Seth Rogen stars as Ronnie Barnhardt, a bi-polar head of mall security in this odd mix of comedy and downbeat humour written and directed by Jody Hill.
Bargain hunters at the Forest Ridge Mall are being terrorized by a flasher - Ronnie sets out to catch the pervy perp; figuring after a visit from Ray Liotta's Detective Harrison that this collar could lead to a career in the police force.
And the flasher makes things personal when he exposes himself at the object of his desire, Brandi, the make up counter girl (Anna Faris).
But Ronnie soon learns that the way to the top cop is never an easy one.
Observe and Report is not your average comedy - and it's not all comedy. It's a curious mix of downbeat melancholy, peppered with generous amounts of swearing and a general lack of overtly funny material.
Throw in a controversial sex scene involving Faris and Rogen and it's an uneasy beast which spans 83 minutes.
Rogen is his usual self but is tinged with an odd streak of human loser in this one - there's not too many hilarious lines or endlessly quotable moments throughout. Whether I was missing the point a little, I'm not entirely sure. Had some of the "laughs" been removed from the script and you'd have probably been left with an interesting look at the mentality of mall security and how, in this case, they're a bunch of underachieving oddballs.
The appearance of Liotta's Harrison sparks jealously in Ronnie and also gives him that push to try and leave this life behind. Sadly though what it doesn't do is push the film into sparkier territory; despite the truncated running time, it feels long in places.
Observe and Report serves as a tangential curio in Rogen's career - whether it'll be one he wants to forget further down the line, is anyone's guess.
Extras: Gag Reel - seriously, when did people laughing and corpsing as well as messing up constitute a decent extra? Disappointing - but given the source material, there was little else to pull together.

Rating: 5/10

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