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Entertainment

April 14, 2009

'Observe and Report' shows mall cops gone bad

‘Observe and Report’ shows mall cops gone bad

 

“Observe and Report”

Warner Brothers Films

Directed by Jody Hill

Starring Seth Rogen, Ray Liotta, Michael Pena, Anna Faris, Celia Weston, Danny McBride and Patton Oswalt 

Rated R

 

2 Stars        

 

The Movie Guy covered this movie event from SXSW Film Festival in Austin:

My DVR went out while I was on vacation, and so I didn’t record a few episodes of HBO’s “Eastbound and Down.” As I contemplated searching for the missing episodes online, I realized that I didn’t like the show enough to expend the effort. Which is not to say that the show doesn’t make me laugh, it certainly has its funny moments, but the main character is so loathsome and unrepentant that it’s hard to find any joy in the humor. 

I bring this up because I have the same problem with Jody Hill’s latest theatrical production, “Observe and Report.” Hill, the creative force behind both “Eastbound” and “Observe,” keeps writing starring roles for bullies and charlatans. In any other movie, these would be the guys who would get their comeuppance at the end of the film. In Hill’s movies, they are the heroes and we are expected to empathize with, and even cheer on their outrageous behavior.

I’m a bit surprised because the generally-likable Seth Rogen is starring as a mall security guard (excuse me, the Head of Mall Security) who sees himself as the thin blue line between orderly shopping and utter chaos. Playing against his cinematic persona, he’s little more than an occasionally funny thug here. At one point he beats up a group of skateboarders malingering outside the mall. Now, we’ve all dreamed of doing violence to teenage miscreants, but it turns out that it’s not really all the funny when acted out for the movies.

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