Observe and Report
*1/2 out of ****
Seth Rogen has always been a love-him or hate-him guy. Before this film, I definitely was in the former club. The crudeness and sweet honesty that worked so well for him in films like Knocked Up and Zack and Miri Make a Porno turns him into an ugly brute in Observe and Report. In his other films, he always plays his characters so that no matter how badly he acts, no matter what sludge comes out of his mouth, he is always somehow likeable. This is certainly not the case for this film.
Rogen plays Ronnie, an inept and egotistical mall security guard that still lives at home with his alcoholic mother. He takes his job way too seriously. His co-workers, Dennis, played by Michael Pena with a lisp, and the Yuen twins add to his enormous ego. He has a stalkerish crush on Brandi, a makeup counter girl and obvious ditz played by Anna Faris, a good actress who always hides her talent by taking roles in films like this. When a man starts flashing women at the mall, including Brandi, Ronnie is determined to catch the guy to fulfill some epic quest of his to be a mall hero. Ray Liotta plays a police detective who keeps coming back to the mall, despite being easily annoyed by Ronnie. The plot is extremely cliche and many of the jokes fall flat.
The strange thing is, this movie actually starts off promising. The first ten or fifteen minutes have funny gags and make all the characters instantly loveable. Then, as the movie progresses, the jokes start becoming repetitive and Rogen's character gets less and less likeable, until we are all convinced he is insane and doesn't deserve to get what he wants. The ending is predictable, and also very implausible.
People who see this movie and love it will say that it was not supposed to be a great film, that it is simply cheap entertainment. Well, my argument is that this film was only minimally entertaining. The director is as inept as his main character if he thinks constant repetition of the line 'Fuck you' is the height of hilarity and that excessive and bloody violence belongs in a silly comedy like this. The film promised cheap comedy and failed to deliver.
I would only recommend this film to Seth Rogen fans.
You can watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekAQzff95E8