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Observe and Report
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Observe and Report

3.0 2
Director: Jody Hill

Cast: Seth Rogen, Ray Liotta, Michael Peña


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The Foot Fist Way director Jody Hill takes the helm for this Seth Rogen comedy concerning an ambitious mall cop who competes with a seasoned detective to bust an elusive flasher. Make a wrong move at Forest Ridge Mall, and you'll have to answer to no-nonsense security head Ronnie Barnhardt (Rogen). Ronnie sees skateboarders as the


The Foot Fist Way director Jody Hill takes the helm for this Seth Rogen comedy concerning an ambitious mall cop who competes with a seasoned detective to bust an elusive flasher. Make a wrong move at Forest Ridge Mall, and you'll have to answer to no-nonsense security head Ronnie Barnhardt (Rogen). Ronnie sees skateboarders as the blight of society, and any shoplifter unfortunate enough to summon his wrath will be promptly busted and booked. Sure, Ronnie may suffer delusions of grandeur when it comes to his job, but perhaps with a little effort he'll eventually get to trade in his flashlight and patch for a gun and a badge. When a flasher begins tormenting the shoppers at Forest Ridge Mall, Ronnie seizes the opportunity to showcase his detective skills and impress gorgeous makeup counter girl Brandi (Anna Faris), who can't be bothered to give him a second glance. Perhaps by catching the culprit, Ronnie will finally earn himself a prized position over at the police academy. But the one thing Ronnie hadn't counted on was competition, and when Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) of the Conway Police makes it his personal mission to nab the flasher, the two rivals begin working around the clock to crack the case before their counterpart.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The mall cop comedy Observe and Report combines goofball shenanigans with a torrid loathing for humanity (and with many, many savage beatings). This weird amalgamation definitely has an upside, because it's probably something you've never seen before. But it also has a downside: namely that it's a little bit schizophrenic, and that all the shameless, full-frontal grossness (not to mention actual, full-frontal male nudity) can be really jarring, especially for viewers who go in expecting a potty-mouthed version of Paul Blart. Of course, making you uncomfortable is kind of the goal, so criticizing the movie for being disturbing is a murky issue at best. It stars Seth Rogen as Ronnie, a deluded mall security guard who spends his days hassling loiterers like he's sniffing out suicide bombers in Fallujah, and his nights watching TV with his very drunk mom. Then, one fine morning, a flasher shows up in the parking lot, exposing himself to a number of women, including makeup-counter vixen Brandi (the always hilarious Anna Faris), whom Ronnie just happens to be in love with. This gives him the perfect chance to act blusteringly heroic (she gets flashed while getting out of her car, but Ronnie nonetheless sets up a perimeter of orange traffic cones around her chair in the department store, where she's describing her ordeal). It's worth noting that the film takes a fair amount of time setting up this standard-issue "pompous but pathetic hero with delusions of grandeur" premise with all the standard-issue jokes that go with it. Cut to Ronnie ordering his subordinates around with over-the-top lingo out of movies like Commando and Delta Force; cut to slow-motion shots of the mall cop crew, squinting and posing in badass formations that emphasize their dorky self-importance; cut to Ronnie's bombastic antics constantly getting in the way of police detective Harrison (Ray Liotta), who highlights the hero's dumbassery by actually knowing what he's doing. It's all delivered creatively, but it also feels pretty familiar, like something we've seen a million times over except with Jack Black or some SNL alum in the starring role. But fans of director Jody Hill's first film, The Foot Fist Way, know better than to expect things to stay conventional -- and they seriously don't. As Ronnie's mettle is increasingly tested, and he gets more and more chances to prove that he really is preternaturally talented at his chosen area of obsession (at one point taking down an army of police officers Bruce Lee-style, armed only with a nightstick and the brutal, meat-packing sound effects of human flesh getting pummeled with a blunt object), the story moves further and further from the template laid down by the genre. The jokes get darker (how unconscious does she have to be, exactly, for it to qualify as date rape?), and the narrative jumps all over the place, switching gears so frantically between stylized portrayals of "it's just a movie" logic and gritty depictions of "now we can't escape reasonable consequences" realism that you not only can't tell whether the hero will win out in the end, you really can't tell if he should. Hill meticulously spends time getting you to root for Ronnie, only to incrementally yank the rug out from under you with revelations that he's crazy, racist, and kind of an asshole. Even though the film continues to frame Ronnie's character along the traditional lines of the flawed-but-lovable hero archetype (the effed-up Don Quixote), it also continues to cross the lines set down by that archetype. One minute, Ronnie is the blustering, saintly fool; the next, he maybe killed a guy. One minute, he's blissfully overconfident, the next, he's suffering the unsettling effects of what is clearly actual mental illness. Again, this is all part of Hill's plan: he strives for cognitive dissonance, and he definitely gets it. He'll build up your tolerance for how much violence, nastiness, and tragedy you can laugh at, and then he'll throw in an epic shock, so you don't know for certain in the moment whether you're supposed to find it funny or terrible. You'll probably sense a little bit of both, and feel pretty disoriented. This particular state of mind is exactly the intended effect. You're supposed to laugh out loud at the hilarious awfulness of everything, you're supposed to be aghast at the shocking grotesquery of it all, and you're supposed to feel bewildered about the whole thing. Some movies strive to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling, and some strive to make you bawl your eyes out, but Observe and Report strives to make you feel ambivalent, confused, and a little bit dirty, and whether or not you find that enjoyable, it's not something you likely feel very often.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Seth Rogen Ronnie Barnhardt
Ray Liotta Detective Harrison
Michael Peña Dennis
Anna Faris Brandi
Dan Bakkedahl Mark
Jesse Plemons Charles
John Yuan John Yuen
Matthew Yuan Matt Yuen
Celia Weston Mom
Collette Wolfe Nell
Aziz Ansari Saddamn
Randy Gambill Pervert
Alston Brown Bruce
Cody Midthunder D-Rock
Debra-Jayne Brown Female Reporter
Eddie Rouse Angry Store Owner
Patton Oswalt Toast A Bun Manager
Lauren Miller Girl Employee
Danny McBride Caucasian Crackhead
William Sterchi Department Store Manager
Milos Milicevic Random Crackhead

Technical Credits
Jody Hill Director,Screenwriter
Zene Baker Editor
Jo Edna Boldin Casting
Donald De Line Producer
Marty P. Ewing Executive Producer
William Fay Executive Producer
Robert Fechtman Set Decoration/Design
Andrew Haas Executive Producer
Sheila Jaffe Casting
Jon Jashni Executive Producer
Gary Jones Costumes/Costume Designer
Steve Mann Sound Editor
Masako Masuda Art Director
Milos Milicevic Asst. Director
Tim Orr Cinematographer
Chris Spellman Production Designer
Joseph Stephens Score Composer
Thomas Tull Executive Producer

Scene Index

Basically Training - Hollywood's latest loose-cannon action star unleashed; Forest Ridge Mall: Security Recruitment Video; Seth Rogen and Anna Faris: Unscripted - multiple outtakes of this imperfect couple's funniest scenes; Meeting-of-the-mall-minds picture-in-picture commentary track with Seth Rogen, Anna Faris and writer/director Jody Hill


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Observe and Report 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Heavy_Metal_Sushi More than 1 year ago
I happen to be a security guard, which is what initially attracted me to this movie, because it looked like another funny one about security guards, like Paul Blart Mall Cop (which I totally recommend). However, aside from a few elements in this movie, I thought this movie was actually rather ridiculous and apalling. This movie possessed a lot of stupid humor, drug use, and full fledged nudity. I was apalled at the fact that there was a streaker running through the mall, and they showed every bit of it and his private parts, all the way from when Seth Rogen's character was chasing him, shot him, cuffed him, and delivered him to the police. I have never seen nudity like that continued on for that long in a movie before, and it was just wrong...especially the fact that it was a big, hairy heavy set man. It was just wrong! The only high parts of this movie were that a handful of parts were actually pretty funny, Seth Rogen & Ray Liotta were pretty good for the most part, and there was some nice heartwarming moments between Seth Rogen's character and this attendant at a pastry & coffee shop. Beyond that though, this movie was, again, pretty ridiculous and apalling. If you can handle some of that and don't mind movies with a lot of krass stuff in them that are totally ridiculous, then by all means, but I wouldn't recommend it past a single watch, if even that. Man, Seth Rogen is so funny and has potential as a great comic actor, but he keeps doing movies like this. The only ones so far I would recommend with him in them are Superbad, Fanboys, Step Brothers, and even Pineapple Express. Those ones were pretty funny & decent for the most part, and they weren't totally apalling. But yeah, unless you're a fan of ridiculous krass movies with a bunch of male nudity, then I would recommend avoiding this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago