Monday, August 24, 2009

Observe and Report (2009) 6/10


Bi-polar head of mall security, Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen), and his crew of misfits seek to catch a parking lot flasher, and night time robber, so that Ronnie can impress his dream girl, the wild, and promiscuous Brandi (Anna Faris).

Well now... what to say. Observe and Report is definitely an interesting experience. Entertaining, and without a dull moment, the movie charges to its own beat, much in the same respect as films like King of Comedy, Cable Guy, and Taxi Driver. Now I'm not saying it's as good as KC or TD, but it's definitely better than CG, and possesses a great amount of wit, and uncare as to who exactly it offends.

The following of Ronnie's quests, his overly violent tendancies, and his extremely bad rational provides an intriguing look at someone who constantly struggles with reality. With absurd characters like Ronnie's best friend Dennis (Michael Pena), the movie had me laughing both during and after the fact. As the movie progresses we spend a bit more time in the head of Ronnie, and we're allowed a small glimpse into his idealistic life. At the same time, we're forced to ask ourselves... just what is real and what are parts of Ronnie's grand dillusions.

One of the more entertaining aspects I found was Ronnie's relationship with Nell (Collette Wolf), the kind coffee girl stuck in a wheelchair. Outside his encounters with her, he's often vulgar, and extremely violent, but when he's talking with her a unique, very normal attitude, seems to have come about him. It kind of makes you wonder, just who is the real Ronnie. His dealings with Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) put that sort of bi-polar stature well on display.

Though even at its highest moments, there's this backhanded knowledge that some things they display to the audience just shouldn't be there. There's the sex scene with Brandi, in which a form of date rape may have occurred, the violent attacking of several cops, crackheads, and skateboarders. All of these leave a feeling of whether or not Ronnie is in fact the man the film shows, a victim of his own dillusions. The ending is no different. Much like King of Comedy, the ending is open to debate, especially given the extreme nature of the character.

Yet for all that I enjoyed about the movie, I can't whole heartedly recommend it. The movie is very polarizing, likely to both entertain, annoy, and disturb the audience in a way that will segregate them almost to a fault. As well Observe and Report will likely force the audience into a multitude of "that's not right" while they either laugh in shock, humor, or sit them in disgust. Ultimately I really don't know who is the right audience for this movie, which probably explains its rather bland box office figures.

In the end all I can really say is give it a shot, and see if it works for you. No guarantees, but it worked well enough for me.

1 better thoughts:

Prestonkm said...

I really liked the movie. I liked that it had balls and really went for what it was trying to accomplish. Definitely not for everybody, but one of the funniest films of the year. Good review.

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