Director Jody Hill is relatively new to the world of comedy. In 2006 he came out with a small independent film called The Foot Fist Way starring Danny McBride. The Foot Fist Way was hilarious and apparently Will Ferrell thought the same thing because he got the picture into main stream cinemas and put Jody Hill and McBride on the map. Well deserved if I may say so. Hills second feature Observe and Report was a good effort, but just didn't stick with me as much as Foot Fist Way did.
Observe is a very dark and strange film, not what I was expecting. The film stars Seth Rogen as Ronnie, a mall security guard who takes his job way to seriously. He resorts to smashing young kids in the heads knocking them off their skateboards, hanging out at the shooting range buckin off shots, taking out 20 cops with a mag-light, and making out with Anna Faris while puke is drooling out of her mouth. Now DON'T get me wrong, this all sounds really great and funny right?? I thought the same thing, but it's not. It's got a really weird feel to it and it makes it hard to laugh. Once Ronnie is faced with the mission of taking down the flasher that's been causing chaos in the parking lot, he gets "paired" up with Detective Harrison. I laughed really hard a few times (a part where his partner Dennis, played by Michael Pena, is doing heroin in the bathroom had me dying) but not for the most part. I understand Hill's going for the dark comedy, and trying something new with the action and realism, but I just couldn't get into it. I saw it in theaters and thought it was better, but this second viewing I was thanking myself I only netflixed it.
I will say this. Anna Faris was brilliant. Even though she's totally type casted as "the ditzy blonde" all the time, she always brings it in my eye's, and she's flat out funny as hell in this. Ray Liotta is always great and he brings his best Liotta yells and "take no shit" attitude to his role as Detective Harrison. Even at only an hour and twenty minutes running time the film still felt a bit slow at times. Especially the scenes with his drunk mom played by Celia Weston. She's great for the part but it really slowed the film down after a while.
Now don't get me wrong. The film did have it's moments, the overall idea is great, and if Ronnie wasn't so very unlikable in every way this may have worked. If this was done as a balls out funny action comedy this could have and probably would have been the funniest film of the Summer. I mean, I want to watch it again right now, it looks great on blu-ray, and I like the idea of the film, but I put it in and just can't do it. I hope that makes sense in a way. It kinda pisses me off. Observe and Report gets 2 1/2 outa 5