Sunday, June 28, 2009

Observe and Report

Welcome to Paul Blart: Taxi Driver. Wait a second, does that not sound like it would work? Well then you sir or madam, are within reason, because not only is this film overly violent for a comedy, it shouldn't even be considered a comedy. It isn't funny. Not even humorous. It is frankly depressing and perhaps Jody Hill and company were hoping that it would be seen as too dark of a comedy that the sudden grotesque violent moments would make us all burst out of our seats in a fit of nervous laughter. Instead, we have Seth Rogen at his most awkward. He plays a complete fucking moron of a mall-cop named Ronnie, who is not only stupid but is also bi-polar and he lives with his mother and he has a crush on a make-up girl named Brandi (Anna Faris) that won't give him the time of day but ignores the girl that works at the coffee stand who is such a nice young lass (and you can deeply analyze all of this later because I clearly think I was meant to, just to find some deep sick enjoyment from all of this... probably has some deep statement about the economy in there). Well a flasher "attacks" Brandi and so Ronnie takes it upon himself to stop the crime with his cop posse (played by Michael Pena, Jesse Plemmons, and two asian guys) all the while avoiding a professional detective (played by Ray Liotta). I know what you're thinking, "Ray Liotta and Michael Pena in a comedy, well they really must've taken this project seriously," and to correct your thinking, "um, no they didn't."

My big question for the themes behind this movie (that mostly have to deal with becoming 'something more') is so what? Just because we see the normalcy of a happy mall get screwed up by a police investigation led by some quirky... um excuse me, I meant to say retarded... characters where race and sexual orientation are mocked so freely and derogatorily that chaos reigns supreme. Comedy should push the boundaries but a lot of these jokes and instances sound like stuff that would happen in my high school (probably even the flasher). The film tries to achieve this sense of anarchy and chaos by being politically incorrect but the chaos caused is on par with that from Fernando Meirelles's film from last year called Blindness where it is chaos for chaos's sake (or even shock factor). The world for these characters just goes to shit but none of us care because we all know that it completely in the realm of fiction. Unlike Borat which correctly dealt with chaos on American soil by "Punk'ing" random REAL people that would then reveal something about how we as Americans treat foreigners. This film has none of that deep insight into anyone's psyche.

The only part that might make you laugh during Observe and Report is when the flasher runs around and the camera seems content to follow his penis. But Rogen comes out with a gun (at this point Ronnie is off of his meds, literally, in his quest to save the world) and shoots a big fucking bloody hole through the guy therefore killing the comedic mood and making us all gasp. The movie is somewhat worth it for that, but imagine if this was actually a funny comedy....

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