Review: Observe and Report

Observe and Report | Jody Hill, 2009

I’m a bit iffy on black comedies. Comedy is my favorite genre, but when it comes to black comedies…I don’t know. There are some I like, like In Bruges where it is clear that it is a comedy taking on some very dark issues, but there are some, like this one, where I just don’t see why it is called a comedy, therefore my expectations are not met, and I just don’t enjoy the movie very much.

Observe and Report is the story of Ronnie (Seth Rogen) a mall security guard who takes his job way too seriously. One day a flasher starts to attack women in the mall’s parking lot. Among those women is Brandi (Anna Faris), a woman who works in the cosmetics department and who is Ronnie’s love interest. After that incident the police gets involved, and that does not please Ronnie, so he decides to get that flasher no matter what it takes. There are also some subplots about Ronnie trying to join the police academy, his talking to a girl who works in a food stand.

My biggest problem with this film is that it is called a comedy. Yes, there are some wacky characters and quirky dialogue, but the things that the main character is going through kind of makes the comedy caused by those aspects obsolete. Also, I didn’t find Rogen’s potrayal of the character believable. I think he can be capable of playing a more dramatic character (I am excited for The Green Hornet), but here his performance seemed off.

I did like Anna Faris’ performance. I have always believed that with a proper script and the proper direction, she could be a really great actress. While the script here doesn’t deliver, the director surely does.

Overall, this movie is not that bad, but it is not quite what I expected. I was keen on giving a flat out pan, but the ending makes almost everything better.

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