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DVD Pick: Observe and Report

A sick and unfunny fantasy about a loathsome mall cop named Ronnie Barnhardt

Observe and Report
Director: Jody Hill

A sick and unfunny fantasy about a loathsome mall cop named Ronnie Barnhardt, played against type by the usually adorable Seth Rogen, whose oversized ego is the inverse of his crew-cut-covered pea brain.

Consumed by rage and feelings of inadequacy — he lives at home with his drunken mom (Celia Weston) — the tightly wound Ronnie treats his suburban Forest Ridge Mall as a battlefield. Barnhardt advocates using guns, Tasers and billy clubs to settle any dispute, big or small.

It beggars credulity to think a man this unhinged would be allowed in a civilized society to get away with the sociopathic acts Ronnie commits — which include date rape, scores of brutal beatings (police officers included) and possibly even a few killings (he brags of six).

Writer/director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) evidently intends his film to be satirical. But satire, even the absurd variety, requires intelligence to succeed. Yes, this is no Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Extras include three featurettes, a gag reel and commentary by Jody Hill, Seth Rogen and Anna Faris.

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