Observe and Report

Seth Rogen’s latest venture isn’t what you might be expecting. By now, most people have heard that this movie is not like the typical type of films he’s been doing lately. While Observe and Report is ideally a comedy (sort of), it’s a little on the darker side in terms of tone and approach. He’s much more Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver this time around than he is the stoner dude from The 40 Year Old Virgin or Knocked Up.

And if you’re looking for a slapstick kind of thing like the recent Kevin James hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop, again, not the approach they took here…

Instead, they went with a more serious approach (for the most part) with some obvious comedic moments along the way. One of the things I found interesting is that while watching the film, you tend to laugh at things that are presented at more serious times and you don’t laugh at things always during the lighter moments. Another interesting aspect is the journey that Seth Rogen’s character takes on – from delusional, bi-polar, lives-at-home-with-drunk-mom, sociopath, to mall hero that manages to grow up a bit and become his own man.

The support cast does a fine job both feeding his psychosis as well as pointing out some of his delusional behavior as some treat him as a hero while others treat him as a loser that’s kind of crazy. One of the great moments of the film is when one of his mall security partners wants to turn him on to the lighter side of life through the process of a drug-induced self-discovery kind of thing which ends up combined with an assault on a group of skateboarders that routinely abuse the mall’s parking lot.

The director (Jody Hill) did a great job sculpting the movie presenting some great segues through slow motion montages set to a musical backdrop largely supplied by Queen. There seems to be some influence from some 70’s movies here in terms of approach and style. All worked well when executing this film.

While this is the type of film that will leave you scratching your heads at times, it’s definitely a fun ride and an enjoyable romp on the dark side.

reviewed by Sean McKnight