Thursday, April 02, 2009

Travis Bickle: Mall Cop

Travis Bickle: Mall Cop

Based on the commercials running on TV right now, a lot of people are going to be incredibly shocked by what kind of movie Observe And Report actually is. It is not a agoofy slapstick comedy. It is not a chronicling of the misadventures about a bunch of mall rent-a-cops. It's is not a Judd Apatow-esque dude comedy.

We saw an advance screening of the film last night and what it is is a dark, eye popping, stunning, at times belly laugh funny, at times nail digging in the armrest disturbing, and extremely accomplished film, especially when it comes to making its point and attaining its goals. I've heard some compare the film to Taxi Driver, and in that escalation of delusion add its consequences when the unhinged come in contact with reality's walls the comparison is fairly accurate.*

Seth Rogan's performance is a stand-out, as a bi-polar security guard of astonishing competence in moments of conflict even as he slips deeper into darker recesses. Ray Liotta comes in a close second turning in a nuanced play on his own history of playing hair-trigger tempered figures. Also look out for Michael Pena's turn-on-dime characheter and and Azis Ansari (familiar to Stereogum readers) and the funniest sequence involving the phrase "fuck you" I think I've ever seen.

This is one the best movies I've seen in quite a while so leave your preconception -- and the kids -- at home and check it out.

Also, Fight Club was forever associated with The Pixies' "Where is My Mind" ... until now. Trust me, whenever you hear that song after seeing Observe And Report it'll trigger a whole new set of imagery for you...

*Though, truthfully, the film is a lot funnier than Taxi Driver. Mostly.

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