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Observe and Report review

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Observe and Report

Warner Bros

R 106 min



I’d have scoffed a few years back had I been told that “Mall Security Comedy” would one day be a genre of American film, let alone the idea that there’d be two in general release at the same time.


The other one, PAUL BLART MALL COP, starred Kevin James, last year’s overweight comic actor destined for big things.

OBSERVE AND REPORT conversely, stars this year’s overweight comic actor destined for big things, Seth Rogen. It’s written and directed by Jody Hill, who so far appears to be a poor man’s Kevin Smith.

First of all I must apologize. If you’re hoping for an in depth comparison of the two mall law flicks I can’t help you. I never saw the other one. It might be great; who knows?

All I can say for certain is that this one isn’t.

This is a slightly surreal story of a gung ho head of mall security, Ronnie Barnhart (Rogen), who fights a never-ending battle with skateboarding hooligans, shoplifters and his arch nemesis the notorious mall flasher. His dreams are to win the heart of the cosmetic counter uber-slut (Anna Faris) and the respect of Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) of the local police.

It’s a little crazy, a little over the top, a little creepy, but unfortunately not all that funny.

Not many of the characters have any charisma at all which means that even the redemption-based plot devices fall a little flat.

If anyone but the likeable Rogen starred it probably would have been unwatchable.

Fir example, with Pauly Shore or Rob Schneider and I might have climbed a clock tower with an AK 47.

Anyway, you can’t help but notice that somebody out there sees stars in this kid’s future. He has something like three features running at once, MONSTERS VS ALIENS, ZACK AND MIRA and this one that features his name before the title. Not bad for a relative rookie, but it’s warranted because if not for Rogen, and the surprise success of SUPERBAD this dog wouldn’t have seen the light of day. I mean, just how many zany Retail Security films can the industry support? Less than two I guess if you check the box office.

There’s an R rating but don’t get your hopes up. It’s not naked women that earn the rating, but a lot of F bombs and way more, uh, weenie than I cared to see. Remember the bad guy’s a flasher.

I’m being generous with this grade.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the review. I was planning on seeing this (love Rogen) but now I'll wait for it to come to cable.


BTW, have you ever watched Snow Day? Came out around 2000 and just made its way to one of the Encore channels. It's a heaping pile of slop - stars Chris Elliot and Chevy Chase (Iggy Pop too!) - and is pretty unwatchable.


But I watched. It was Some Kind of Wonderful (not a heaping pile of slop by any means; if you don't like this movie - I don't like you) poorly redone with a weird evil snow plow guy tossed in the mix.



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