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Observe, Report

Movie Observe and report
Director Jody Hill
Starring

Seth Rogan, Ray Liotta, Michael Pena, Anna Faris, Celia Weston

This is a reviewers nightmare or dream, there is much to cover here. When you leave the cinema its not difficult to see what Jody Hill was trying to accomplish. He was looking for something to fit into the mould of cringe comedy that is emerging from hollywood, but perhaps with a following similar to that of Napoleon Dynamite. The problem with that is it has to be funny. I think the majority of the problems in the early stages of this movie, by which I mean it just isn't very funny, is due to the transition from writing to direction. Writing something funny is all well and good and it might be funny in your head, but making that appear as funny on screen is of course a difficult challenge. Add one more weak element into this equation and you are going to struggle. That weak element is of course the dreadful Anna Faris. She looks nice enough and is peppy and enthusiastic but when it comes to acting she just shouldn't. In a scary movie movie type over the top comedy that can work, but although this is also an over the top type of comedy, there is something a little more real in the pain of this retarded yet determined individual who's pathetic life is falling apart around him, and her overacting is just very out of place. Rogan however doesn't break character during the film and without being either brilliantly funny or a fabulous actor, he represents Ronnie Barnhardt well. Michael Pena is fantastic as pretty much the only comic relief in the early stages of this comedy. The story see's Ronnie as head of mall security trying to catch a flasher in order to raise his status in the community and bag the girl of his dreams, Brandi (Faris). A series of Mall robberies ensues, and Rogan becomes more frustrated at his inability to bag any criminals, however he does manage to bag a date with Brandi with horrible but funny results. Ronnie's lack of intelligence displays itself at every turn, including unprecedented racism against an asian mall employee who has a restraining order against him. His attempts to join the police force are foiled by his psycological examination unsuprisingly, and seized upon by the cruel detective who has been the bane of his life since the beginning of the movie, detective Harrison (Liotta). Celia Weston is charmingly horrible as the alcoholic mother who cares about her son, but is too drunk to offer him anything of benefit. If you watched the first hour of this movie and walked out, no one would point the finger with any blame. It's hard to watch, and at times hard to stomach. When an hour of a movie is this bad its hard to defend, unless it has a magnificent ending. Which I have to say this does. Ronnie gets himself in a pickle after Brandi sleeps with his nemesis, detective Harrison, and from then on its pure gold. I really don't want to spoil any of the ending for anyone but I just love it. Its as disturbing as it is brilliant, but laugh or cry you will be either suprised or downright shocked. Go see this now if just for the ending. If the entire movie had been this good, it would be my favourite comedy, however as it stands, I'm not sure if I could stomach it again. I will be very interested to see what Jody Hill puts out next but this could have been so much better. This is a real shame.

Score
This movie scores 7/10