Some of you may not remember, but the 10 & 5 column was born out of hatred. Hatred of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And every now and then, another film pops up that I just can’t get into. This time, it’s Jody Hill’s Observe and Report.
Immediately I must put up the disclaimer: I got the film. So if you were going to comment and talk about how I didn’t get the joke, go ahead and do it anyways, because I know you will, but know I won’t be taking it to heart. It is entirely possible to understand something and then just not like it in the slightest. I know what goes into coleslaw and I even like some of the base ingredients, but I’ll be damned if I ever eat that garbage.
Without further adieu, I present to you 10 things I hated about this film and 5 that I sort of liked.
10 Things I Hated
10. The Way this Movie Makes me Feel. I don’t want to hate a movie like this. I don’t want to be that old fuddy-duddy who kids think “doesn’t get it.” I take shots at Roger Ebert for hating the sequels to Friday the 13th and calling them trash, yet here I am. Playing the role of the square. When I walked out of the film I thought it was mostly indefensible, completely irredeemable, and the cinematic equivalent of the basest of reality shows.
9. Cursing. I’ve got a potty mouth so it takes a very elevated level of cursing to distract me. This movie had it. Much like Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, an over-reliance on foul language in writing is a sign of weakness. This was extraneous and distracting.
8. Anna Faris. By all accounts she is a very beautiful and charming person. But this role is painful to watch. Not only is she horrendous, but her character is in the same vein of everything she has ever done. Time to find a new agent, maybe. Challenge yourself.
7. Violence. I love violence. I watch every horror movie that comes down the pike and reward the most violent ones with higher ratings. But extreme violence in a “comedy” doesn’t do anything for me. Assaulting and badly beating a dozen cops? Cops who are not bad guys and just doing their job? And he’s the hero? What point does having extremely bloody violence in a comedy make? I didn’t like those parts in Pineapple Express either. Shocking and unexpected, sure. Funny, nope. And I usually think violence is hilarious!
6. Comedy. This movie is being advertised as a comedy. It isn’t funny. It’s malicious and not fun. It has been described as Taxi Driver if Taxi Driver was a comedy. Ok, well, let me pitch you this. “It’s Taxi Driver but we advertise it like a comedy, we insert 3 jokes, some funny soundtrack songs and there you go.” Sounds pretty stupid.
5. Cheap Shots/Unoriginal. It did not go unnoticed that in the opening credits, virtually everyone in the mall is obese or comedic. But not in a wink and nod kind of comedic, in a sort of ‘Hey middle America this is you, fat and lonely.’ Security guards that have an unhealthy and dangerous love of guns? Real original. A shit family and an alcoholic mom? Don’t break the mold, guys.
4. Michael Pena. This guy is awesome and can be hilarious, but they wasted him here by playing him as stupidly as possible. Instead of letting his acting be the source of comedy, they gave him a nasty Jheri curl and a lisp. Are you kidding me?
3. No Lesson Learned. At the end of the film, what has Ronnie learned? Not a damn thing. His obsessive, psychotic, and violent ways reward him with (somehow) the respect of the police force, the love of a woman, and his job back. Does he take his lesson to heart? No. He goes right back to being an asshole. There is no change in his behavior. He talks about wanting to get his new girlfriend to abandon her vow to God, proving he’s not gained any sensitivity.
2. Tone. You should have guessed by now, but I didn’t like this movie. It wasn’t fun or funny to me. It was too dark to be a comedy, too stupid to be a drama. I gave Step Brothers best fight in 2008 for beating the shit out of some kids, which was hilarious. In this movie, it came across more like a pathetic man assaulting children with malice in his heart. I hate kids. I love to see kids get hit. But in this movie, it just wasn’t funny because the tone was way off.
1. Ronnie is a Horrible, Horrible Person. When you don’t like the main character of a movie, it’s hard to like the movie. Ronnie is perhaps the worst and most disgusting “hero” we’ve ever seen. His attack on the kids is entirely unprovoked, malicious, and devoid of humor. Make no mistake about it – he rapes Anna Faris. He watches her get drunk, provides her with prescription medication, watches her throw up, drags her into bed, and rapes her. Just because 30 awkward seconds later she makes a joke doesn’t mean it’s not rape. He endorses his mother’s alcoholism, maliciously hurts officers of the law, and shows no concern for others. Let us not forget that he’s a racist. He accuses Aziz Ansari of being a terrorist, calls him Saddam Hussein of Iraq (admittedly this scene was funny), etc. He then, at the end, punches him in the face, assaulting him, for no fucking reason. Aziz’s character is just there to do a job. We, as an audience, are given no reason to hate him, yet we’re supposed to cheer when a hate crime was committed? Ronnie is this weeks Worst Person in the World.
5 Things I Didn’t Hate
5. The Yuan Brothers. This overweight Asian duo was pretty funny.
4. Anna Faris. You can’t deny her body is rocking and in a movie with so little to enjoy, I’ve got to list this.
3. The Ending. I will give the ending props for having a funny chase sequence and a completely unexpected ending, though 15 seconds later when Ronnie is reinstated I remembered exactly why I hated this movie.
2. Ray Liotta. This guy is awesome.
1. Aziz Ansari/Chick-Fil-A. Aziz is without a doubt the funniest part of the entire movie. Especially when it comes to the Plot to blow up Chick-fil-a. Why would I want to blow up Chik-fil-a? That place is delicious! His parts included comedy done right. The rest of the movie was balls.
There it is. I hated this movie. I hate how I probably seem like some old prude, but go check out my thoughts on other movies that feature violence or other horrible acts and you’ll see that if the tone is right and it fits the movie, I’ll celebrate and defend it. I get the point of this movie, I just didn’t like it one bit. The tone was completely off which made for a gross and insulting film rather than something to laugh at.
Note: Again, I get the film. I just didn’t like it. I hated it. But I’m not against the film having been made or supporting any boycott. In the end, the film is just that – a film. My choice is not to view it again or pay money to see it. Because I didn’t like it. There are plenty of people attacking Rogen, Hill & Co. asking for apologies or calling for boycotts. I think that is bullshit. Much like I defended Tropic Thunder against its detractors, I would defend Observe and Report for its right to exist. The movie did not hurt me personally or some garbage like that — it’s only a movie (repeat 3x). So while I didn’t enjoy the movie, I don’t think anyone involved with it has any apologizing to do and those out to get their heads on a stick are misguided and needed to lighten up a touch. It is fine to hate the movie for whatever reasons, but it doesn’t bear attacking those who created it.
What did you think about Observe and Report?