Directed by Jody Hill
An iron-fisted mall cop takes his job to the extreme.
Observe and Report ventures “down every alley a mainstream comedy should avoid,” said Lisa Schwarzbaum in Entertainment Weekly. Jody Hill’s offbeat, pitch-black comedy follows the misadventures of a delusional “mall cop” who dreams of becoming a real cop. Though the plot resembles the recent Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the film is “as bleakly, exhilaratingly furious as Paul Blart is squarely comforting.” Star Seth Rogen has been “shorn of his cute curls” and his teddy-bear sweetness. Together he and the director push the envelope “so forcefully that it practically squeals,” said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. The film starts to seem like a suburban riff on Taxi Driver. The sudden violence is shockingly brutal, the women are bimbos, and the jokes—especially those about ethnicity and sexual orientation—are merciless. Hill aims for the gut, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. But it’s not clear what he accomplishes by “sending the profanity meter off the charts, going postal on the violence,” and generally aiming to shock. “There’s no moral to this story,” and not much to laugh about either.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- This week I learned the surprisingly dark origins of the Nobel Prize, and more
- Keira Knightley on Laggies, relationships, and surviving your 20s
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- How did Rick Perry escape blame for the Texas Ebola outbreak?
- Gamergate might be gaming sexism's Waterloo
- 10 things you need to know today: October 24, 2014
Subscribe to the Week