Osmosis Jones

Directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Starring: Bill Murray, Molly Shannon, Chris Elliott, Elena Franklin, and the voices of Chris Rock, David Hyde Pierce, Laurence Fishburne, Brandy Norwood, William Shatner, Joel Silver, Ron Howard.
MPAA Rating: PG for bodily humor.

Review by Matt Heffernan <matt@filmhead.com>
September 22, 2001

Here it is, folks: the most futile review of the year. Not only is Osmosis Jones almost out of theatres, but it is so mediocre, and my feelings about it so ambivalent, that this review won't do much to help people decide whether or not to see it (when it comes to video in a month or so). I saw the film when it was released last month, but the review, until now, has been another sacrifice to a busy schedule.

In brief, Osmosis Jones is about the body of a man (played by Bill Murray), and the abuse it is under because of a slovenly lifestyle. Half the film takes place in the guy's live-action world, while the other half is a fanciful animated imagining of his internal body. Chris Rock provides the voice for a white blood cell that tries to bring down a powerful virus (voiced by Laurence Fishburne). At his aide is a cold pill (voiced by David Hyde Pierce), who is armed with an arsenal of chemicals to combat the infection.

The Farrelly Brothers are credited with directing this film, but they did not write it, as they did for There's Something About Mary and their other comedy hits. Perhaps this is why Osmosis Jones was not one of their hits. Marc Hyman's screenplay (his first) provides some good jokes, but is terribly uneven. The world within Bill Murray is well imagined, but it's hard to say whether it was more the work of Hyman or the Farrellys.

Then again, it's hard to say how much of the animated part of the film was really supervised by the directors. They have never been animators, which makes me think that the animation supervisors should really be credited as directors, especially since their part of the film was the most creative. The live-action part is a pretty simple sloppy-father and embarrassed-daughter (Elena Franklin) story. Clearly, the Farrellys were more concerned with their wholly live-action projects, like the upcoming Shallow Hal.

Osmosis Jones might be worth a rental upon its rapidly approaching video release date. There is some decent animation, a few good laughs, and Bill Murray, who is always worth watching.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Osmosis Jones (2001)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
Osmosis Jones (2001) -- VHS
Osmosis Jones (2001) -- DVD
Osmosis Jones: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc

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Review © 2001 Matt Heffernan