The front of Friday's Arts section featured a review of "Observe and Report," an edgy comedy starring Seth Rogen, from reliably politically correct movie critic Manohla Dargis, who used to review movies for the ultra-liberal Village Voice before moving to the Times. The premise of "Observe and Report" offendedDargis's rather easily offended sensibilities:
If you thought Abu Ghraib was a laugh riot then you might love "Observe and Report," a potentially brilliant conceptual comedy that fizzles because its writer and director, Jody Hill, doesn't have the guts to go with his spleen. The story, in short, turns on a psycho shopping mall security chief, Ronnie (Seth Rogen, putting the lump into lumpen proletariat), who rules his retail roost with a Taser, a trigger-hair temper and some smiley-faced sycophants. Like the pettiest of dictators, Ronnie preys on the weak in the service of power (in this case the mall itself). He's the Lynndie England of this dumber-and-dumbest yukfest.
That's admittedly overstated, but sadism is this movie's currency.
Last summer, Dargis tried to make summer moviegoers feel bad about the lack of women on the big screen:
All you have to do is look at the movies themselves - at the decorative blondes and brunettes smiling and simpering at the edge of the frame - to see just how irrelevant we have become.