An anonymous flasher exposes himself to shoppers in the Forest Ridge Mall parking lot. The head of mall security, Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen), makes it his mission to catch the flasher. He is helped by Charles (Jesse Plemons), Dennis (Michael Pena), and the Yuen twins (John Yuan and Matthew Yuan). Ronnie's dream girl, Brandi (Anna Faris) is flashed the next day, and she becomes hysterical. Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) comes and takes over the situation, this makes Ronnie very angry. Ronnie decides to take the case into his own hands.
A incredibly disgusting film where Seth Rogen is at his funniest, but a great performance by Rogen cannot save this crude film. Observe and Report is a very dark and unpleasant experience. A cliche thing to say, but I found myself looking at the clock waiting for this film to end. Besides for Rogen Observe and Report has very few laughs. The perfect example of why you can't base and entire films laughs on dirty humor. Some of the most unfortunate, and unwanted nudity I have even had to sit through. Jody Hill tries to shock and awe viewers will dark humor, and a unique storyline, but instead creates and unfortunate film. The most suprising thing about this film is that even while the film is very tough to sit through, Rogen's performance still almost carries the film.
Jody Hill is the co-creator and executive producer of the HBO series Eastbound and Down. Eastbount and Down has dark humor and a very outrageous plot as like Observe and Report, but Observe and Report is not able to link together as well. Hill's first film The Foot Fist Way was seen by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell who bought the distribution rights. And also developed a cult following. Hill was allowed on the set of Knocked Up, and he fell in love with Seth Rogen's acting style. He became even more of a Rogen fan after the release of Superbad. Hill both directed and wrote the script for Observe and Report. Unfortunately it just didn't have as great of an effect as his previous work. Observe and Report's script is very poorly made. Hill's direction is well done, but the film is an absolute mess.
Seth Rogen's performance is one of the best and hilarious performances from a comedy since probably Steve Carell's in 40 Year Old Virgin. Besides for Rogen there are no other performances worth mentioning. Anna Faris as Brandi is a very untalented performance. Ray Liotta as Detective Harrison is nothing special, no lines or scenes worth mentioning. One performance does not keep a film in motion. Each time Rogen is off the screen this film just crashes and burns.
Observe and Report only grossed about 25 million in the box office, one of the lowest grossing films that Rogen has stared in. This film had plenty of hype. Rogen as the lead, the co-creator of Eastbound and Down as the director, and also starring Ray Liotta. But like so many comedy films, it dissapointed. It seems like each year there are more and more gross-out comedies that are released. Hopefully this film will help people realize that these films very rarely work, but probably not. The amount of awful nudity in this film will make you have to check and make sure you are not at a Jackass film. Observe and Report is a film you need to brace yourself to sit through. A film Rogen fans will want to pass on, and if you are a Jody Hill fan you too will be disappointed.