Starring: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Ray Liotta
Director: Jody Hill
Running Time: 87 mins
Observe And Report is an American film about a bipolar mall cop who intends to prove his worth in the face of the police’s intervention in an ongoing investigation surrounding a serial flasher at the mall.
Right, from that summary, this sounds pretty identical to Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Oddly enough, it was also released 3 months after that. However, Observe And Report is a significantly better movie. It’s got a much better sense of humour, that combines extreme silliness with a darker subplot about this bipolar mall cop, and is generally pretty engaging and pleasantly entertaining to watch right the way throughout.
This is one of Seth Rogen’s earlier lead performances, but it’s still just as funny and energetic as you know and love him today. Here, he plays this hot-headed character really well, using his skills in the slapstick arena to make you laugh a lot, but also makes the man understandable and a lot more likeable than you’d expect, which was impressive to see.
Also, the whole atmosphere of the film does often actually lean further towards black comedy than generic Seth Rogen madness. The whole story about the flasher is occasionally pretty disturbing, as are some of the more (ahem) graphic scenes, but it’s the fact that the story is largely about this deluded, unpredictable personality that makes it often so dark, and it takes that concept and often takes it to places beyond what you’d normally see in this sort of comedy, particularly Paul Blart.
However, I do think I’m making this sound a little bit more drab than it actually is. Yes, it’s got dark undertones that often prevail, but for the most part, it is a pretty funny and quite enjoyable comedy. There’s good action and slapstick, some of the characters have great banter, and there’s fortunately not too much of an over-reliance on completely brain-dead toilet humour like, again, Paul Blart, which is proof that it is actually a more interesting and different comedy that will make definitely make you laugh a lot.
Overall, Observe And Report is a very fun movie, and although it’s got a lot of silliness about it, its main character and subplots are actually dark enough to make it much more interesting than most modern action comedies, and that’s why it gets a 7.2 from me.