Itâ€™s hard to put a handle on â€œ.â€ Itâ€™s easier to define what it isnâ€™t than what it is: It isnâ€™t â€œ .â€ Not by a long shot. It also isnâ€™t for everyone.
Seth Rogan shows his very dark side as Forest Ridge Mall, head of security, Ronnie Barnhardt, a man who still lives with his alcoholic mother (the wonderful Celia Weston) and spends his downtime at a gun club, wishing, alongside his twin co-workers (John and Matt Yuan), for the right to bear arms on the job. And by the way, he also may be bipolar.
Ronnie patrols his jurisdiction with an iron fist, combating skateboarders, shoplifters and the occasional unruly customer while dreaming of the day when he can swap his flashlight for a badge and a gun. His delusions of grandeur are put to the test when the mall is struck by a flasher. Driven to protect and serve the mall and its patrons, Ronnie seizes the opportunity to showcase his underappreciated law enforcement talents on a grand scale, hoping his solution of this crime will earn a coveted spot at the police academy and the heart of his elusive dream girl Brandi (Anna Faris,) the hot mess, make-up counter clerk who won’t give him the time of day. But his single-minded pursuit of glory launches a turf war with the equally competitive Detective Harrison (Ray Liotta) of the Conway Police, and Ronnie is confronted with the challenge of not only catching the flasher, but getting him before the real cops do.
Writer director Jody Hill has created a strange, new kind of subversive comedy that falls somewhere in the realm of Judd Apatow meets John Waters. The ordinarily brash, yet cuddly Rogan fully commits to the part of Ronnie with a kind of scary intensity that hints at some intriguing future performances. It made me laugh, but it also made me squirm uncomfortably.
One final warning: the flasher/pervert, played by Randy Gambill, has an extended, full frontal chase scene near the end of the film. He freely displays his male member, or perhaps I should say junior member. Iâ€™d also be hard pressed to identify his face in a line up. Consider yourself warned. (Running Time: 1 hr. 26 min. MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence.)
Big Fat Rating: â˜…â˜… 1/2