Observe and Report (Jody Hill, 2009)

The moralistic impulse shared by Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle and the protagonists of Joe, that misguided effort to save the (good) youth of America by killing their evil father-figures or the bad apples in their community, is similarly buried in Ronnie, our delusional and medicated mall cop protagonist. But whereas those seventies films–with which this film shares a rambling narrative and a healthy mistrust of authority–relied on nuance and psychological depth, this film throws up a disturbing vision of white millennial manhood, where fantasies of being able to engage in state-sanctioned bloody violence are emboldened by an obsession with a flasher’s flaccid penis.

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