I keep coming back to this film for its dark humour and hopeless and deluded, head of mall security, protagonist. I appreciate how the writer concludes the hero’s journey without shifting his inherent character. The character development is cheeky and inventive in its avoidance of tropes. However, political correctness police be warned, the irreverence is strong with this one...
Mom:"Most people would have thrown me away by now. But not you, ronnie."/Ronnie: "I do it, cos I love you, Mom"*heart falls to the floor breaking into a trillion pieces*/The "Where Is My Mind"-scored slo-mo dick-wagging pursuit (slowing down to sucker-punch Saddamn mid-chase) & the slo-mo kiss (she actually kisses above his upper lip: a kindergarten kiss almost.) are things that'll stick with me for a long long time.
Despite a tendency to fluff-up some of its more obvious gags, Observe and Report still strikes me as a brave, subversive, and ultimately near-apocalyptic interrogation of American mores and values. In many ways it is the slap in the face the American public (who blithely overlooked it) needed at the time. Speaks to the world of Homeland Security and Operation Whatever etc. Anna Faris and Michael Peña just kill it.
Strangely enough, this movie got me into filmmaking. In fact, Jody Hill's style and depressing, yet fascinating story opened up the wider world of film to me in a weird way, and I'm forever thankful. From the tonally exciting needle drops, to the brutal violence, and down to its dark sense of humor and simple but admirable heart, Observe and Report won me over pretty easily, and still has a special place in my heart.
Despite the laziness of the writing, and more than its fair share of lulls, Observe and Report is a deeply disturbed, pitch black comedy. It's hardly even a comedy, more of a schizophrenic tale of violent revenge and confused justice - but there are also absurdities and jokes peppered throughout. All in all, despite its reputation, it is a quirky and original "comedy" from the very funny Jody Hill.
Never as dark as some people would have you believe, unless your litmus of comedy comes from the Apatow/Ferrell axis. I really don't get the 'Taxi Driver' comparisons, if anything it is a dumbed down version of 'Punch-Drunk Love' with the same sort of aspirations by the filmmaker. Ultimately, it has neither the depth, humor, humanity, or disturbing undercurrents.