The Night Out: Observe And Report (2009), or A (Mall)Cop Run Amok

10 04 2009

Well, folks, it’s Eric “Cinematronica” Young here, reporting that I have officially watched and reviewed 100 movies today. It has been a long and arduous road, but here I am. I am un-toppled and ready for more of the world’s cinema to come and punch me in the face every morning at 5:00 AM.  There have been some real challenges these past couple months, and it hasn’t always been easy to write a thousand words a day while still trying to maintain a life, but I am committed in every single way to this site, and I promise the most insight into the inner workings of film out of all the movie reviewing sites on the web. I guarantee to try my hardest, as long as you all stick with me for another 265 days. I haven’t failed you yet, and I don’t see myself losing to fatigue or aneurysms anytime soon. I know I’m not a legend just yet, but maybe by the time December 31st rolls around and I’m reviewing Scrooged or whatever I deem fit that day, maybe you will write in and call me your hero.

And speaking of heroes, I have a new hero in my life, and his name is Seth Rogen. Out of all the comic actors out there in the futuristic utopia that is Hollywood in the year 2009, he makes me laugh the most. It’s all about the attitude. He has this incredibly powerful something that just makes me want to bust at the seams. He’s dark and savvy and dorky and charismatic all at the same time. He’s everything that you want to be when you’re joking around with your friends, and possibly in the bedroom if you like to have HILARIOUS sex. Seth Rogen became my hero at approximately 12:01 AM this morning, where, at last night’s incredibly enjoyable midnight screening of Observe and Report, I saw a movie that is at once too disturbing to be merely a comedy and too bubbly to be merely a drama. It is a perfect blend of yin and yang, and it is a movie I really hope to be watching again soon.

Think Taxi Driver meets Dudley Do-Right. Rogen plays Ronnie Barnhardt, a mall security manager with delusions grander than we regular people could not even begin to grasp. When a flasher strikes the mall, preying on the shock he paints on the faces of females as his modest penis flaps by, Ronnie takes this as a sign. He wants to protect his mall with the iron fist of a benevolent ruler, so under the guise of protecting the little people that inhabit the shopping center, he begins a quest of righteousness to better both the mall and himself by finding and destroying the pervert.

We are taken on a hilarious romp through the crazed eyes of Ronnie, and it was one of the highlights of my year so far. Rogen really branches out here, playing a character that is by no means likable, but completely fleshed out. It was incredibly invigorating to see him in a role he deserves, one where the director just lets him loose onto the screen like the powerhouse of screen presence he is. He owns this picture lock, stock and barrel, and I cannot wait to see him in more movies like this.

I had such a great time watching this that for the rest of the day after I was at a loss for words as to how or why it impressed me. Now that I have regained composure, I can say with certainty that the reason I enjoyed it so much was the originality that came from such a derivative idea. It’s  reminiscent of both the legendary Taxi Driver and another recent mall cop film, Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Obviously borrowing from these two scripts, though it may have, something completely unexpected came out of it. If a normal comedy takes something serious and bends it to absurd angles to make it funny, then Observe and Report takes something serious and breaks in in half with its teeth, leaving the audience at that uncomfortable position where laughing at something so mind-bendingly absurd and almost hyper-serious might reflect poorly upon them. I’ll let you see what I mean by that for yourself.

A lot of people have been afraid to rate this film higher, I believe, because there is a definite mean streak here (the hallowed “Tomatometer” only holds it at a 55%). Ronnie is a mean, painfully serious guy with problems out the wazoo, and he treats some people like they were nothing at certain points in the film. But I think that perhaps a mean streak in a filmmaker is something to be concerned about; a mean streak in a character, no matter how pronounced, is more than acceptable. There is no real malice in the film that calls for such a politically correct rating, and since I had such a great time with it, I’m gonna go out on a limb here. I give Observe and Report 10 modest penises out of 10. I had a really good time here, and I look forward to rewatching this later on in the week. If people look back on this and tell me how wrong I am, I will never be more at peace with being incorrect in the world’s eyes. Check this one out if you wanna see a once in a lifetime comedy.

I’m cutting it short so I can go celebrate my 100th movie victory with Bren. Come back tomorrow for my take on Let The Right One In!




One response

22 04 2009

Really??? 10 out of 10??? Well…you’ve got me curious. I’ll have to check it out!

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