Observe and Report (R) - 2009 - Runtime: 87 minutes
Starring: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Ray Liotta, Michael Peña
Director: Jody Hill
Seth Rogen was so 2007. Nowadays he's too much, say the critics. While only two years ago he was riding a crest of critical praise. What gives? As far as I can tell, Rogen hasn't really whiffed on anything and Observe and Report just continues his funny streak.
But what a weird, twisted little movie this is. Paul Blart should take some kickin' ass lessons from Ronnie Barnhardt, the bi-polar, dysfunctional, anti-hero of Observe and Report. You see, Ronnie thinks that he's what the world needs right now. Someone to kick some ass and take names waaay later. He's a complete asshole, even to the lonely girl who harbors a secret crush on him working in the food court. Even to his second in command, Dennis (played wonderfully and hysterically by Michael Peña), who always has his back with his weird little lisp.
But make no mistake, even though you're really not rooting for Ronnie, deep down inside you want to know how the hell he's going to mess up everyone's life. Yeah, it's a good ride - after about an hour I honestly didn't know where this movie would end. And that's a good thing, because this isn't a typical, road to redemption story. See, Ronnie takes a flasher in the mall parking lot as the embodiment of all that's wrong with society. And much like Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (I'll get to that movie later...), Ronnie has decided it's his mission to protect the mall, but more importantly protect the queen of skanks, Brandi (Anna Faris). It sounds a bit familiar, but trust me I found this more delightful that Paul Blart. Whereas Paul Blart was pretty harmless, O&R has a flapping penis on screen for five minutes.
And it's quite hysterical, although probably not on repeat viewings. There are some really funny montages (every movie needs a montage!) and whenever Michael Peña talks I was giggling maybe a little too much like a school girl.
As for the movie, it's worth renting and checking out - I wouldn't doubt this movie goes on to share cult status among other twisted, like-minded movies like Death to Smoochy and Election. So if you're in the mood for some laughs (possibly flapping penises? Is that a good sell?) then check it out!
Rating: Rent It!