Observe and Report is not the funniest comedy you will see this year, it may even rank in the bottom three. It tells the story of Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen), the head security man at a Mall who struggles to keep the peace with the customers. When a flasher makes it presence known, Ronnie takes it upon himself to catch the man rather than leave it to the police, even if it costs him his job. There is also a side story of Ronnie looking for love with one woman who has no interest in him at all, while not acknowledging the fun loving pretty girl right in front of him.
There is something oddly familiar about this story line as a very similar one was recently created with Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Observe and Report however is created as an adult comedy rather than aimed at children. One of many problems with this flick is its lack of actual comedy. There are the rare moments when you may crack a smile, but for the majority it creates very little emotion, that is until certain elements appear that go beyond rational thinking. To have the film as a comedy is fair enough as there are some areas that can be quite comical, such as a naked middle aged man in a trench coat running and causing havoc in the mall. But, then you have some ridiculous parts such as the flasher getting shot! You would have thought that something a little funnier and light-hearted could have been created as a way to catch the man. This is not the only thing that makes little sense. The film also includes two security guards getting fed up of their jobs and going on a drink and drug expedition; snorting and smoking narcotics is one thing but showing someone shooting up is beyond anything imaginable.
I have no problem with films using the F word. In a horror flick it makes quite an impact to build terror and shock while in a thriller it expresses anger. In a comedy it can have the odd funny expression but in Observe and Report it is used so many times that it loses its effect. It makes your nose turn up it is used so dreadfully.
Anna Faris is known for her comical roles in the House Bunny, Just Friends and probably more significantly the Scary Movie franchise. With her role of Brandi she lacks the funny element that made her so enjoyable to watch in the past. Likewise, Seth Rogen was amazing in Knocked Up and more recently Zack and Miri make a Porno but as the lead role with this film he emits no real interest like his co-star.
Observe and Report lacks any real jokes and humour that it’s attempt alone is probably the funniest of elements.