Osmosis Jones

Osmosis Jones takes an interesting concept and does not really go anywhere. It is two highly related stories that take place at the same time, one in the real world and one in the animated world of "Frank." The world of "Frank" is actually the body of Frank Detorri (Bill Murray, Charlie's Angels, Hamlet), a disgusting example of a man. He is slovenly, lazy, gross, and has some vile eating habits. These habits unleash Thrax (Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix, Once in the Life), a deadly virus, into his body. It is up to Osmosis Jones (Chris Rock, Pootie Tang, A.I.), a white blood cell, and Drix (David Hyde Pierce, Isn't She Great, Wet Hot American Summer), a 24 hour cold tablet to save Frank. They form the odd couple cop combination that goes out seeking Thrax.

This is the tamest film ever from the Farrelly brothers, Bobby and Peter (Me, Myself and Irene, There's Something About Mary). Still, their typical love of lowbrow humor is present. It is just toned down in Marc Hyman's script. The main problem is that while the story is imaginative, there is nothing especially memorable about Osmosis Jones. The real world of the movie pales in comparison to Frank's body. Murray does little more than act like a slob, while his exasperated daughter Shane (Elena Franklin) helplessly tries to help him. The makeup does more work that Murray, turning him odd colors and giving him various disgusting symptoms. Given a good script, Murray's performances can be surprising. He has a reputation (well deserved) for being a sarcastic jerk, but he also has a very good serious side. Neither side is apparent here.

Frank's body is a literal microcosm of a large country. Each part of the body has its own look and culture, sort of like New York to Los Angeles. Each part of the body has its own characteristics and habits. It is just enough to spark one's interest in the film, then the feeling fades to one of ambivalence. It is just not unique enough to stay fresh and new in one's mind. As voices, Hyde Pierce and Rock are toned down versions of other roles. Rock is very subdued compared to his other roles, enough to lose his 'edge.' Hyde Pierce is fine, but it's the same voice he uses in Toy Story 2, Frasier and every other role that requires a prissy/upstanding commanding voice. The animation isn't anything special, but that was not the point of the movie. It looks unique enough to make it look different from other films, which is always a good thing.

Jones' and Drix's actions and battles have consequences for Frank in the real world and vice versa, so it is nice watching the indirect action between the two. However, Frank is just not interesting enough. Jones has some issues in his background to come back to haunt him, and Drix and Jones have opposite personalities. Almost like a wizened cop/rookie cop routine that gets tiring fast. If the Farrelly's spent a little more time inside Frank, Osmosis Jones might be better.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 28 minutes, Rated PG for bodily humor.

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