“Observe and Report” may be the smartest dumb comedy since “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle.” That 2004 comedy classic used its stoner comedy trappings to tell a sharp, incisive tale about modern race relations and ethnic identity. (We’ll ignore the terrible sequel.)
“Observe and Report” begins as simply another story about an underachieving, but big-dreaming little guy who gets a chance to redeem himself and win the girl of his dreams. By the time it is over, we realize that we haven’t just watched a comic variation on “Taxi Driver,” but also a satire of American ambition and nationalistic superiority. In an era where hopes and dreams are being squashed left and right by forces not entirely of our own making, “Observe and Report” comes close to asking us how we began to feel entitled to our uniquely American optimism in the first place…read more [Film Threat]
“Observe and Report” is filled with enough F-bombs to take out the entire midsection of the country; it has its own special brand of unrestrained head-bashing, stomach-kicking, nightstick-beating brutality that echoes rogue guerrillas anywhere. And there is a long, long, long (did I say long?) full-frontal run by a middle-aged, pot-bellied flasher clad only in a flapping trench coat and a very sturdy pair of sneakers (now where is 3-D when you really need it?)…read more [Los Angeles Times]
Let me just start by saying, I am not an “insider.” I don’t know how it “goes down” in Hollywood. But really, I know what I like, and I liked Observe and Report, and I’ll tell you why.
Two words: Ray Liotta.
Sure, Seth Rogen is the star, and he handles his role well. But you have to understand something, there’s a reason why the people behind the scenes made him a “Mall Cop” and made Ray Liotta a real-honest-to-goodness police detective. That’s the sort of level these guys are on. Ray Liotta is making his comeback in a bigger than Mickey Rourke way, and I am glad. I knew he’d be good after Goodfellas – I said to myself, “This guy Ray Liotta has it made in the shade!”…read more [ScreenJunkies]
With the outsize box office success of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, you can be excused for entering Observe and Report expecting sloppy seconds. In this version, a pudgy Seth Rogen wears the tin badge of weaponless courage previously pinned on a pudgy Kevin James. But it’ll take only about three minutes before the unnerving truth sets in: Observe and Report is as bleakly, exhilaratingly furious as Paul Blart is squarely comforting. And from here on in, it’s time to forget the Kevin James vehicle (no matter how similar some of the pair’s superficial plot mechanics) and focus on the profound madness and sadness that fuels this risky, riotous, moody-blue comedy written and directed by Jody Hill…read more [Ew.com]
Observe and Report trailer:
At its best, Observe and Report delivers the basic plot points we completely expect from a movie of this sort, but then the flick spirals out into all sorts of admirably weird and subversive directions. And given that we’re inundated with comedies of the same approximate tone and style every two weeks, it’s a true pleasure to discover a farce that deals in weirdness, darkness, and downright SHOCK…read more [Cinematical]
…What follows is one of the strangest and most daring films of the last five years – a dark comedy that walks like an indie and talks like an indie, but has the backing of a major studio. Warner Bros. should be commended for taking a chance on such a bizarre project (especially after releasing “Watchmen” only a month ago), and it’s a shame that the end result isn’t as impressive. At only 86 minutes long, “Observe and Report” shares many of the same problems that plagued director Jody Hill’s first feature, “The Foot Fist Way.” While the movie’s opening act is loaded with several great moments, it slows down considerably from there in order to focus on the story. Unfortunately, there isn’t that much story to tell, and while the audience patiently awaits the next big laugh, they’re forced to sit back and watch as Ronnie unknowingly sabotages his own career…read more [Bullz Eye]
All the actors ace it, but the movie pivots on Ronnie’s battle with Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta), the cop Ronnie wants to be. Liotta is Goodfellas tough, making no allowances for giggles. His mistake is to mock Ronnie, throwing him to a gang of vicious crackheads. It’s this scene – in which Ronnie wields his flashlight like a police baton, beating his enemies bloody – that shows us just how bug-fuck dangerous and delusional Ronnie is. Hill is fearless at pushing hot buttons: date rape, shooting up and worse. Just know this: Rogen is nutso hilarious, nailing every note of mirth and malice. Even when Hill goes way too far, and he does, Observe and Report revels in creeping you out and making you laugh – hard…read more [RollinStone]
All of Hill’s characters are set up with a fairly simple premise: the complete and utter evisceration of the self-esteem of a character perilously close to suicide in the first place.
And so Ronnie lives in a similar vein. His acutely alcoholic mother blames him for his absent father. He hangs on a tenuous thread of Klonopin and self-aggrandizement. He loves guns, and has deluded himself into thinking a 30-something rent-a-cop has actual power and self worth…read more [UGO]
Observe and Report red band trailer:
For Jody Hill, this latest offering is a stronger feature than Foot Fist. Yet the previous film had a bit more going for it in the originality department. And no, I am not comparing this to Paul Blart as it is crystal clear that neither film inspired the other. I guess it was just the right time for Mall Cops to get respect. But with O & R, I laughed quite a bit, and I welcomed the very un-PC humor sprinkled throughout. As a filmgoer, if you are easily offended and prefer a more straightforward comedy, I don’t recommend this. It is far from safe and it will probably not be fun times for you. But if you appreciate a dark humor that revels in the underbelly of Suburbia and how some bi-polar Security Officer deals with his coping issues, this is the movie for you…read more [JoBlo]
It was written and directed by Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) with a lighthearted vulgarity that carries us along until it explodes into something darker and more violent, in the same way that, 40 years ago, Bonnie and Clyde lulled us into hypnotic love with a couple of stylish and handsome gangsters, and then let us see what happens when they shoot someone in the face. Observe and Report doesn’t have the same effect — it’s too messy and its social critique is lost in the madcap — but it is just as daring.
At one stage, a policeman hides to eavesdrop on a conversation that promises to be embarrassing. Observe and Report would never do anything so conventional, though, and in the middle of the scene he walks out. “I thought this was going to be funny, but it’s just kind of sad,” he says. That’s Observe and Report…read more [Canada.com]