Seth Rogen is Ronnie Barnhardt, head of mall security at the Forest Ridge Mall. Wielding a taser gun, a night stick, and bipolar disorder, Ronnie is a tightly-wound time bomb perched on the threshold of explosion. But who could blame him? After all, as a security officer at a busy mall, Ronnie and his badged colleagues are faced daily with the scourge of skateboarders, shoplifters, and even the occasional unruly customer whose credit card has been “mistakenly” denied three times.
Suddenly, just as it appears that Ronnie’s world of commerce is safe and secure, a flasher (Randy Gambill, whose family must be oh so proud) appears in the parking lot. He terrorizes several unsuspecting women shoppers, his balloon belly bouncing and his trench coat flapping as he eludes capture with the blur of black socks. Ronnie vows to catch this vile criminal, citing passionately on the 6 o’clock news broadcast violent consequences if the flasher exposes himself at his mall again.
The flasher returns, of course, and this time he flashes Brandi (Anna Faris), the beautiful cosmetics clerk who has uncaringly stolen the heart of Ronnie. Gasping for a breath between her panic attacks and having to be carried to the back room for questioning, Brandi’s promiscuous and materialistic life will never be the same after seeing the flasher.
“It just keeps playing over and over in my mind,” she wails. “Somebody just push stop!”
Against Ronnie’s wishes, Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) is brought in to help solve the case. Deflated and offended, Ronnie wants to show Harrison that being a security officer is harder than it seems, and that being a police officer is easier than it seems. He invites himself on a ride-along with Harrison, who cruelly drops Ronnie off and leaves him stranded in a gang- and drug-infested neighborhood. Ronnie beats down a few thugs, brings a drug-selling pre-pubescent adolescent into the station for booking, and finds his true calling. He applies for police academy and dreams of carrying weapons and “wasting all the (expletives).”
Let me repeat, moviegoers: Stay home. If you hold yourself to any moral standards at all, avoid this film. Do not let your children (under the age of 18) see this vile pile of profanity, nudity, violence and unabated drug use, and, please, please, do not let your mothers see this. They would wash your mouths out with soap for just suggesting it.
While “Observe and Report” had its fleeting moments of humor — like Ronnie’s mother (Celia Weston) who is liquored up in each hilarious scene she steals — I tend to not find humor when every other word is an expletive, and when there is an extremely unattractive old man flaunting full frontal nudity for not just a moment, for not just a couple of moments, but for at least 5 minutes. I really don’t want to see that. Not at all. Ever. (Now, give me Brad Pitt and I’ll consider reevaluating my prudish stance.)
This movie was so repulsive, in fact, that I had to go home and watch back to back episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” just to purge my filthy soul. Every time I feel dirty, I just whistle the theme song and walk down a dirt road with a cane pole. Try it, it works.
Rated R but bordering on X for pervasive language, graphic nudity, sexual content and violence, and running at 86 minutes, “Observe and Report” will make you want to observe and repent. And I didn’t even mention the sex scenes. Ugh. It gets 2 bags of popcorn.