The Germinator
Osmosis Jones
Review by Ross Anthony

An odd concept, perhaps a rough pill to swallow too; but this bio film about animated cells inside Billy Murray's body circulates well.

Osmosis (Chris Rock) plays the overzealous white blood cell on the beat inside Frank. Keeping this slob free from Osmosis Joneshostile germs and viruses is a tough job. In the opening sequence, Frank wrestles a hard-boiled egg out of the mouth of a monkey, "If it's on the ground for less than ten seconds you can still eat it!"

From there, the egg carries one serial killer (Laurence Fishburne) of a virus into Downtown Frank. Osmosis Jones teams up with a Navy Seal time-release cold tablet (similar to the Woody/Buzz Lightyear pairing of "Toy Story"). With or without the other cops on the immunity force, these two must work fast -- before Frank drops.

Starting out like some 16mm film you'd seen in H.S. health class where a talking penicillin character attacks a mean-faced syphilis or gonorrhea bug, "Osmosis Jones" eventually picks up speed, pumping with adrenaline and funky hiphop beats (including a cameo by Kidney Rock). But it's the constant asides, road signs, and pun-based humor that'll tickle your funny-bone. And everyone knows humor's the best medicine.

The animation (inside Frank) is solid though standard (save for a sweet and juicy "subconscious" scene), while the relatively few live-action scenes (the outside of Frank) suffer from degraded production value and rough edits.

Osmosis JonesEspecially notable, David Hyde Pierce's (A.K.A. Niles Craine on "Frasier") voicing of Drix the pill; however, in my personal opinion, the effectiveness of his kind on the body is overrated. And Molly Shannon is over the top hilarious as Frank's daughter's spit-upon elementary school teacher.

Though I don't recall spending any time in that particular organ, the film sports a little heart. I suspect K-12 bio/health teachers will be playing this one for generations to come.

  • Osmosis Jones. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG.
  • Starring: Chris Rock, David Hyde Peirce, Bill Murray, Laurence Fishburne, Brandy Norwood, William Shatner, Molly Shannon, Chris Elliot.
  • Screenplay by Marc Hyman.
  • Directed by Peter Farrelly and Bob Farrelly.
  • Produced by Bradley Thomas, Peter and Bob, Zak Penn, Dennis Edwards at Conundrum/Warner Bros.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:01:39 PDT