I knew there must have been a reason why I had a funny feeling when I first saw the trailer for Observe and Report. I remember thinking yes Seth Rogen is in it, yes Anna Faris is in it and yes it looks a bit funny, but it seemed just a little too far to the side of comedy to be one. It looks like my initial feeling was correct.
Seth Rogen plays a mall cop, a "rent-a-cop" if you will and to put it very mildly he takes it very seriously. He looks at himself as a renegade, a mall version of Patton if you will and the mall his war theater.
Sounds funny right? Okay, let me pose this question though: what if there really was someone like that and you saw not only how he handled the job but his everyday personal life. Not just the funny little tid bits of how mall patrons and employees look at him but his views on the world and the world around him. Starting to get that 'not-so-funny' feeling?
This isn't to say this movie is a bad movie. Not at all actually. Yes, there are silly trademarked funny Rogen parts, but they are few and far between. What is odd and yet wildly appealing is the storyline of looking at the man we all laugh at and are plunged into his delusional world. It is scary and is a ride that at first is fun but then you begin to look for the exit signs very fast.
Ray Liotta enters the mix about halfway through the film, which is when you know things are about to take a turn to the dark side. Liotta plays a veteran detective, who although a bit menacing, is not a bad guy or a out to get anyone...except Rogen....when he pisses him off...in as up and up away as possible.
The whole movie rides a very fine rail, which it does very well, of funny, yet dark, yet strange. You are not sure whether to turn it off, look away, or play it again. It is one of the oddest feelings I have been left with after a screening in a long time. That said you may want to check it out, if for the very reason of thinking twice before you make fun of and laugh at someone, you never know what they might be thinking.