Sick, twisted, and lacking any sense of morality, Observe and Report is a dark adult-oriented comedy that is fun to watch. Every moment of this movie will either shock or surprise you, or make you laugh out loud. While its tone is uneven at times, it still manages to present a comedic story of a bi-polar mall cop who dreams of dating the hot girl from the cosmetics counter, and joining the police force.
Observe and Report does go to extremes in terms of taste and sanity at many points throughout the film. Writer/Director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) said in an interview that he wanted the film to be an homage to Taxi Driver.
While there can be an argument made that Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) and Observe and Report’s Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen) could be related, Bickle is a much more tragic figure, while Barnhardt’s journey is much more in the comedic vein.
It was also nice to see Seth Rogen break out of his nice guy shtick and play a complete nutcase for once. Always nice to see when an actor show that they have ranges and go beyond what appears to be them just being themselves on the screen.
In Observe and Report, Ronnie must contend with a parking lot flasher, an arrogant cop trying to horn in on his case (Ray Liotta), and an unknown person who robs the mall on a weekly basis. When Ronnie finally gets a date with his dream woman (Anna Faris), he stops taking his meds and takes off on a whirlwind of violent insanity.
Many people may think that Observe and Report is a rip-off of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, a family film that was released months before. But I can honestly say that while I think that Observe and Report is a better film, Paul Blart is definitely the mall cop movie to rent/buy for the whole family to watch. Observe and Report contains lots and lots of profanity, drug use, full frontal male nudity, and lots of violence.
As predicted in my 17 Again DVD post, Warner Bros. has decided to no longer put special features on the DVD versions of their new films. This means on the DVD of Observe and Report you get the widescreen and full screen versions of the film. That’s it.
If you want any special features, head on out and get a Blu-ray player. The Blu-ray version of the movie includes:
Hollywood’s Latest Loose-Cannon Action Star Unleashed
Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video
Seth Rogen and Anna Faris: Unscripted
Multiple Outtakes of this Imperfect Couples Funniest Scenes
Picture-in-picture commentary track with Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, and Writer/Director Jody Hill.
You also get a Digital Copy of the film for mall insanity on the go.
For the ultimate in mall cop lunacy and just plain craziness, I recommend Observe and Report. Look for Patton Oswalt (Big Fan) as one of the mall employees!