|Dir:||Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly|
|Star:||Bill Murray, (voices) Chris Rock, Laurence Fishburne, David Hyde Pierce, William Shatner|
|Cert / Year:||PG / 2001|
Osmosis Jones (Chris Rock) is a white blood cell set to patrol the mouth of Frank (Bill Murray) a rather unhygienic zookeeper. Unfortunately Frank has just swallowed the deadly Thrax (Laurence Fishburne) a virus hell bent on killing him. Jones along with the help of Drixanol (David Hyde Pierce) a flu tablet that Frank has swallowed must now face a deadly microbiological battle to save Frank's body and their home.
Ok so I hate the Farrelly brothers, not personally of course, but for the formulaic unfunny offensive gross out comedies they have churned out since Dumb and Dumber. If that wasn't bad enough they ensured that every studio has tried to copy them, so that the poor comedy fan has been drown in a disgusting torrent of bodily fluids. Having said that seeing that this film is set mostly inside of the body and is therefore about body fluids I can think of no one better to helm this picture.
This film is a rather clever mix of live action and animation. The real world is live action, and some good animation is the microscopic bustling metropolis that represents the inside of Frank. Within the city of Frank it's cell inhabitants go about their jobs performing Frank's bodily functions overseen by the policy making major. White cells are cops, blood vessels roads, and bacteria and viruses criminals. It's a great concept extremely well implemented, being both original and fun. It's a sort of comic book of the Fantastic Voyage world, with a fair amount of humor thrown in.
I have to say that the Farrelly's helm is film well. The exterior and interior action is nicely blended to form a cohesive narrative. This is impressive given the fact that is a live action animation hybrid. Yes there are moments of total gross out humor but they are explained by the animated scenes and for once are totally warranted, plus dare I say it they are intelligently used (ok so the spot gag is a bit too much).
The film is helped by the quality of cast used in the voice roles. Chris Rock is one comedian who has yet to make it as an actor, and whereas his Osmosis Jones is nowhere near as good as an in form Eddie Murphy could make him it is a step in the right direction. Laurence Fishburne is just great a Thrax a truly evil performance, however it is David Hyde Pierce that steals the show providing the voice for Drix the super heroic flu pill. There really is a good chemistry between the leads (no really). Also worth listening out for is William Shatner as the major, and Ron Howard as Tom Colonic the major's rival. On the real world side of things Bill Murray puts is a good performance alongside Elena Franklin who does well as his long-suffering daughter. The only problem is Chris Elliott who is just annoying as Bob Frank's best mate.
It is good to see something new and original especially in the gross out comedy line, and Osmosis Jones is a real tonic. A good idea has been well implemented top marks to writer Marc Hyman and to the Farrelly brothers (but no I still haven't forgiven them for Shallow Hal). This is as fine a blend of quality animation and live action as you will find, and rarely has a way been found to combine them both that works so well. Although it's dialogue is wonderfully slick Osmosis Jones may not be the funniest film, but it's certainly very entertaining and well worth a watch. It may just be the cure that the gross out comedy scene has been in dire need of.
He's one cell of a guy.
Osmosis: I never thought you'd be on MY side!
Drix: I never thought you'd be right.
Thrax: Careful. I'm contagious.
Osmosis: Next time, I'll be the bad cop.
Drix: You ARE a bad cop!