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Observe and Report

Deranged and Dark…yet Funny

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

If you’re a fan of Seth Rogen’s other films, this one is a bit of a departure. But those of you who have seen writer/director Jody Hill’s previous film The Fist Foot Way know what you’re in for. I’m not sure what lurks in the back of Hill’s mind is that sane, but it’s definitely hilarious. Rogen and Hill have likened this film as The Taxi Driver of comedy and they’re actually not that far off.

Rogen plays Ronnie, the Head of Mall Security. Oh, he’s also completely delusional. As you would expect of someone in his position, he has some ego and authority issues. He’s hopelessly in love with the shallow and ditzy makeup counter employee Brandi and takes his job a bit too seriously. He believes that he’s finally found his purpose in life when women in the parking lot are the victims of a “pervert” who exposes himself to them. When Brandi is the subject of his sexual assault, Ronnie decides that he must bring the “pervert” to justice.

Of course, the real police are called and Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) is brought on to take over the case. Ronnie believes his righteous power has been usurped and decides to close the case before Harrison. Unfortunately, Ronnie is extremely delusional and is constantly doing the wrong thing. He’s almost like a grown up Eric Cartman -- his ego his so large that it blinds his common sense causing delusions.

However, Rogen still has us rooting for him, sorta. He’s not quite an anti-hero, but he’s not really a hero either. He does have a truly human and sensitive center, but it doesn’t completely excuse his actions in the real world. Hill crafts a truly dark film but is able to inject a tad of humanity, which actually made me quite uncomfortable. I didn’t really want to like Ronnie at all. I wanted to be on Harrison’s side and watch him crash and burn. But Hill understands that even people like Ronnie are human. Still, they’ve crafted one of the most deranged comedies seen in a while.