Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship cause him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act.
Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.
Ronnie Barnhardt lives with his alcoholic mother. He's chief security guard at Forest Ridge Mall, where he's in love with Brandi, a cosmetic sales clerk, and gets a free coffee each day from Nell, a cheery clerk in the food court. A flasher haunts the mall's parking lot, and at night, thefts occur. Ronnie is intent on catching the criminals but has no investigative skills, is delusional about his abilities, and makes mad accusations. His bête noire is Detective Harrison, the city cop sent to investigate. Ronnie thinks he could be an officer, thinks he stands a chance with Brandi, and slowly loses his self control. Will reality set in? What about redemption? Written by
Most actors, if they want to have a lengthy career, have to prove their versatility (Johnny Depp, for example). 'Observe and Report' marks a big step for Seth Rogen; as opposed to his good-natured, man-child teddy bear image from 'Knocked Up' and 'Zack and Miri Make an Porno', O&R sees Seth playing a bi-polar mall cop determined to save his workplace from a serial streaker. While this film has the same basic idea as 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop', 'Observe and Report' treads much darker territory. Rogen is excellent as Ronnie Barnhardt, who is rude to most people, yet is still kind of likable and ia infatuated with Brandi (Anna Faris) the blonde makeup consultant, even having sex with her when she's virtually unconscious.
The thing that sticks out in this movie is the violence, which is brutal at times. Like Robert De Niro in 'Taxi Driver' (which this film has been compared to) Rogen turns into a self-made vigilante with no qualms about using force to get what he wants. Towards the end, as he trains himself for his job, Rogen provides a 'Dark Knight'-style voice-over, perhaps foreshadowing his role as the Green Hornet.
The best thing about this movie is the ending. While some comedies can falter under an overly-sentimental finish, 'Observe and Report' manages to keep its nihlistic tone while wrapping up the loose ends to everyone's satisfaction.
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