Two movies in a year about mall cops. The first Paul Blart: Mall Cop is still in Tri-City theaters. The second is Observe and Report.
Mall copping movies have limited scenarios and in some ways the films are clones of each other. Both main characters have a secret desire to be a cop, both are in love with a woman working a mall hall booth, both live with their mom, both battle criminals targeting the mall and both have limited touch with reality.
One difference is dramatic. Paul Blart is TV squeaky clean and you can take your grandmother. Not so with writer/director Jody Hill’s Observe and Report. It’s packed with four-letter words, raunchy dialogue, drug use and abuse and female and male nudity. Observe and Report is also light years funnier than Blart.
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The bad news. That’s not hard to do. Seth Rogen’s Ronnie Barnhardt is head of security at a mall in Albuquerque, N.M., plagued by a pervert in an overcoat flashing customers. Arrogant and not quite completely lit, Barnhardt is in love with the lady who works at the perfume counter (Anna Faris). She’s a flasher victim.
Though not quite as much fun as Hill’s first flick and cult favorite, The Foot Fist Way, Observe and Report has some funny moments. If pushed you can even describe it, in a perverse sort of way, as charming.
I can see you’re confused. The adjective raunchy, combined with terms such as four letters and M&F nudity, don’t equate. That’s where the charismatic and ubiquitous Rogen, who seems to be in nearly every comedy these days, enters the picture.
Rogen (Pineapple Express) understands his acting limits and plays to his strength. He has this goofy, doofus guy- next-door thing going for him. Rogen is naturally funny with exceptional comic timing and you don’t mind seeing him four or five times a year.
He reminds me of John Candy — and that’s very good company.
Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars
Rated R for male and female nudity, language, sex, drug use. It opens April 10 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.