Seth Rogen stars as Ronnie Barnhardt, a bi-polar security guard who lives to protect his mall in the action packed and genre-changing-film, “Observe and Report.”Rogen is determined to catch a perverted man that continues to torment women at the mall by running around and exposing himself. Excessive nudity and violence make this movie worthy of an R rating.
“Observe and Report” has a lot of laughter to offer, but the mood changes quite often. Fight scenes and sentimental moments make this film much more than a simple comedy. A strong cast includes Anna Faris, Ray Liotta, Michael Pena, Aziz Ansari and Collette Wolfe.
Anna Faris plays Brandi, a cosmetic sales associate who interests Ronnie Barnhardt. Faris incites laughter as a ditzy mean girl who gets exposed to the prowling flasher. Rogen and Faris work well together in a laugh-out-loud dinner scene that includes an expensive alcohol bill.
Barnhardt’s right hand man, Dennis, is played by Michael Pena.
The mall task force also consists of the Yuen twins and newly acquired member, Charles. Rogen and company patrol the mall grounds with mase, batons and a taser that is put to good use.
Ray Liotta also stars as an idol and enemy to Rogen. Detective Harrison despises Barnhardt and lashes out on the security guard for interrupting police investigations. Liotta’s plan to leave Rogen in the worst part of town backfires when the experience inspires a dream to join the police force. Barnhardt’s attempt is short-lived due to poor marks on a psychological exam.
The Yuen twins collect laughs as two of the more likable characters in the movie. John and Matt Yuen play gun-loving and obedient followers of Rogen. Soft spoken and always smiling, the Yuen twins share a scene with Barnhardt at the gun range that underlines the comedic spirit of “Observe and Report.” The Yuen brothers make a great first impression on the big screen providing dry one-liners while maintaining a calm manner throughout.
Barnhardt’s home life brings the movie to a more emotional level. His father ran away when he was a baby and his alcoholic mother is the only support system available.
Barnhardt also needs to deal with his bi-polar disorder which seems to cause his erratic behavior.
Aziz Ansari from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” makes an appearance as a lotion salesman in the mall. Possibly the best scene of the movie, Ansari and Rogen exchange personal insults. Rogen gets the last laugh in an excessively naked chase scene with the flasher.
Violence, drug use and sexual content make this movie inappropriate for some. Written and directed by Jody Hill, “Observe and Report” received a seven out of ten rating on the popular movie database IMDb.
A strong cast and consistent laughter make this movie worth the admission price and Rogen continues to capture an audience in this spring time action comedy.
Eric Rinehimer is a West Chester University student. He can be reached at ER626593@wcupa.edu.