Maul Cop
Observe and Report
Review by Ross Anthony

Quite crude, quite funny. The first time I saw an episode of "The Simpsons," I have to admit I was appalled. What kind of father would take out his frustrations by strangling his son? And what kind of example is Bart setting for the elementary school audience out there? I was guilty of taking it all too seriously. Actually, Homer and Bart Simpson are funny exactly because their characters exhibit classic examples of inappropriate behavior with unabashed ignorance of their deviance. Observe and Report adds lots of foul language to that recipe, stepping up the shock value. It's silly, crude, and achingly inappropriate, but it had the screening audience rolling with belly laughs even my gf who had originally told me to go see it with a buddy.

Seth Rogen has proven himself a loveable loser, endearing to root for while happily allowing himself to be the bare butt of the joke. We're sympathetic to his ludicrous plans while laughing as he shoots himself in the foot over and over. His comedic genius translates to screen with natural ease.

The film's premises meander in a squiggly line around the threshold of reality. It even adds very serious elements. Perhaps that's why we laugh so hard, we almost believe: we're always held on the edge of believing such a scenario could happen, and then the filmmakers slap us in the face with the ridiculous. Maybe we're also laughing at ourselves for so willingly being sucked in.

The film is very good at what it sets out to do make us giggle, but I guess that serious part of me wanted the picture to take its serious side one or two steps further. Bringing the film to the more likely outcome rather than the laugh-it-off resolution would have emphasized an emotionally deeper, slightly darker element already nicely in place. If this move was done well, certainly a larger impact would have been made, and we might even be discussing this film years later in film schools and cult film blogs.

Good acting and some pretty smooth directing. The fact that the mall itself was portrayed so realistically added to the punch of the comedy. Production designer says, "My goal is for people who see the movie to say, 'Oh, they shot this in a real working mall.' That would be fine for me. That was our job."

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Observe and Report. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Michael Pena, Ray Liotta, Celia Weston, Collette Wolfe. Written & Directed by Jody Hill. Produced by Donald De Line at Warner Bros.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 08-Apr-2009 10:27:33 PDT