The Farrelly brothers go where they have never gone before... a PG-rated cartoon. Osmosis Jones combines the talent of those sick-thinking directors Peter and Bobby, Bill Murray, and Chris Rock, forming a comedy that is surprisingly entertaining, although not quite impressive enough to fill the petri dish.
Osmosis Jones combines live action, including Bill Murray as a rather unhealthy zookeeper, Chris Elliott as his beer-guzzling friend, and Molly Shannon as Murray's daughter's teacher, and cartoon, which features the voices of Chris Rock, William Shatner, David Hyde Pierce, Brandy and Laurence Fishburne as cells inside Frank's (Murray) body. The ratio of cartoon to live action is about 3:1, so don't expect too much of Murray, although you still get a fair amount.
Unfortunately, the live action part of the movie is the best, since, obviously, that is what Peter and Bobby Farrelly are used to. Their form of comedy is pretty toned down, having the appearance of any kids' film, except they do manage to work their gross out routine in just a little bit. The two funniest parts of the movie are a) when Murray eats an egg that has been in a chimpanzee's mouth and b) when his zit pops and lands on Molly Shannon's lip. Disgusting, yes, but definitely funny.
However, since Osmosis Jones is primarily a cartoon, let's focus on that. The cartoon has some funny lines and stuff like that, but it is relatively disappointing. It's not bad, just disappointing. The drawing style is very traditional and very bland; compared to other cartoon movies of late, it is far behind. Furthermore, with exception to David Hyde Pierce's medicinal robot character, the characters are pretty bland and unexciting, including Osmosis Jones himself. Chris Rock is surprisingly not that exciting as just a voice, and when the movie tries to make you feel for his character, you just can't.
Furthermore, the action scenes just don't work. Unlike some Disney films where the movie really works up its characters and draws you in, Osmosis Jones just gives you comedy and expects you to laugh, action and expects you to sit on the edge of your seat, and characters and expects you to care. It fails.
I did, however, like the movie's take on many of the bodily functions and so forth. When the cold pill arrives in the stomach, I really liked the docking procedures that took place. I also liked how the movie managed some other bodily functions and integrated with the live action portion of the film.
Osmosis Jones is moderately entertaining, but needed a lot of work before it could be considered a really good movie. The cartoon aspect is somewhat uninteresting, and while the live action part is a lot better, it still looks too much like a kids' movie.
Osmosis Jones is good, but compared to that Dennis Quaid movie called Innerspace from the 1980's, it needs a lot more.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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