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Movie Review: OBSERVE AND REPORT

by Joey Paur



One thing you need to know about this movie before you see it if you haven’t already is that this is a dark comedy. This is not you usual Seth Rogen funny guy flick. The character he plays in Observe and Report is a very disturbing individual and a character most people won’t be able to connect with. I would never have thought Seth Rogen could play a character like this, but he pulled it off and he pulled it off incredibly well. In fact this was his best acting performance in a film so far. The guy can act.

The movie is a character study on a mall cop named Ronnie Barnhardt played by Seth Rogen. He is the head of mall security and his ultimate mission in the movie is to go out and catch the guy that is going around his mall flashing people. While this is going on there are other things that begin to unfold about this guy. He is infatuated with a cosmetics girl named Brandi, and detective played by Ray Liotta, comes into his territory to investigate the crimes that have been going on. Ronnie is threatened by this detective. The film really explores this person’s strengths and weaknesses. The character could be described as a villainous hero.



I like how the movie plays with it audience, throughout the film it sets up these certain salutations where you think the obvious is going to happen, when all of a sudden the unexpected madness blows up in your face. A perfect example of this is a scene where Ronnie is dropped off in the middle of gang ridden territory and left for dead by Detective Harrison. Ronnie is confronted by a group of gang members that look like they are going to shoot him or at least kick his ass, when all of a sudden while Ronnie is down on his knees begging for his life whips out a night stick and takes them out in badass superhero form.

Ray Liotta is fantastic in this movie, like he is in every other film that he does. Anna Faris who plays Brandi also did a great job plying the crazy blonde party girl ditz in the film. As annoying as the character is that can’t be an easy role to play.

I really didn’t think this movie was going to be worth my time, but I thought the film was done very well, I thought everyone did a great job in their roles especially Seth Rogen. Again I have to tell you this is a dark comedy, if you are easily offended then this is not the movie for you.



After I saw the movie it was brought to my attention that there is a controversy surrounding one of the scenes of the film. The scene in question involves date rape. Ronnie takes Brandi out to dinner where she is drinking very heavily. While at dinner he goes to take one of his anti-depressant pills not sure what it was but she flipped out and wanted one. He didn’t see the big deal so he gave her the bottle thinking he didn’t need to take them anymore. He takes her home, she throws up he kisses her after. Cut To: Ronnie having sex with what appears to be Brandi Passed out on the bed. In the middle of it he stops to think perhaps if what he is doing is wrong. While he is stopped she tells him not to stop so he starts up again.

Yes, I would think that is date rape and I do not approve of date rape and I don’t know who would. But, I also don’t approve of killing people, rape, the beating of women, the killing of kids, molestation, and anything else that is immoral and wrong in our society. But these are all things that are put into movies all the time. Most rated R movies break these rules. I’m sure most people that are speaking out against this movie have seen another movie where several people are senselessly killed for no reason. Should we now go out and boycott that movie because we all know killing is wrong? Or what about the recent horror film ‘Last House on the Left’? There is a incredibly brutal scene in that film where a teenage girl is kidnapped, raped and shot. That was a scene that was incredibly uncomfortable to watch, it was way worse than the scene in Observe and Report, but I didn’t see anyone come out and boycott that film. Lets even take it to the Star Wars level where Anakin Skywalker goes in and kills a bunch of kids with his lightsaber. I could go on and on with examples of films that get made where there are things that are not socially acceptable in our society and no one says anything about it. But here people are pointing the finger at this movie. We all know what is right and what is wrong. Just remember all this next time you go out to see a movie or TV show when characters perform these type socially unacceptable acts. Observe an Report was rated R for a reason. In the end it is up to each individual to decide for ourselves how we deal with the images and storyline that are placed before us on screen when we go to the movies.

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