Written by: Marc Hyman
Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly (live action); Piet Kroon, Tom Sito (animation)
Starring: Chris Rock, David Hyde Pierce, Laurence Fishburne, William Shatner, Bill Murray
- Audio commentary by Kroon, Sito, Hyman and producer Zak Penn
- “Frank’s Gross Anatomy” rehash of disgusting scenes
- “Under the Microscope”: Behind the Scenes from HBO First Look
- “Investigating the Vocal Chords”: Behind the Scenes look at recording sessions
- Deleted scenes
- Theatrical trailer
Released by: Warner Home Video
My Advice: Rent It.
[ad#longpost]Frank (Murray) is a guy who really has let himself go. He’s out of shape, he eats like three college freshmen, and he’s never quite recovered from the loss of his wife. His daughter, Shane (Elena Franklin), really wishes he’d take better care of himself, but she’s fighting an uphill battle trying to convince him. Thankfully, she’s not the only one taking care of her poor pig of a father. Inside Frank’s body is an entire world of cells that want to keep Frank healthy. One in particular is white blood cell Osmosis Jones (Rock), who if anything, is a little overeager to do the right thing. When cold symptoms start to appear, Jones is joined by his new partner, a Drixonol cold tablet (Pierce). However, this is no ordinary cold. It could be downright lethal.
It also could be downright uneven. The animated portion of the film is downright clever, dealing with more physiology puns than should be allowed by law. It also has the best Titanic joke I’ve ever seen. But as much fun as there is to be had with Rock and Pierce inside of Frank (along with Laurence Fishburne giving great evil), it’s drowned out by the sheer stupidity of the Farrelly Brothers‘ live-action sequences. I’ve never understood their penchant for scatological jokes that appeal to people in single-digit ages. It just doesn’t mesh with the less disgusting humor of the animation, not to mention the amount of in-jokes that would go straight over the heads of most Farrelly fans.
As for the DVD’s features, they’re mostly a series of letdowns. First and foremost, the audio commentary is one of the most debilitating I’ve had to sit through. With four people sitting and watching the film, the most they can do is talk about how much they love the film? This is, of course, when they’re speaking at all. There are long stretches of nothing happening. This can be something tolerable with films that one doesn’t mind sitting through twice, but–this is not one of those films. On occasion, they will mention something noteworthy–but it’s rare. Although they do get a little pointage for giving tremendous props to Michel Gagne, who designed their 3-D effects (and is a great creator of twisted children’s books for adults).
The “Frank’s Gross Anatomy” feature is merely a fasttrack to disgusting scenes within the movie–and as you can guess, that was a big favorite with yours truly. The “Under the Microscope” documentary is your standard behind-the-scenes fare, only hosted by Brandy Norwood, who is saddled with delivering some terrible lines while superimposed on scenes from the film. Poor thing. But wait–it gets worse. Every time somebody comes on screen to talk about their role, the background wavers and the text moves–so bring along some dramamine.
The “Investigating the Vocal Chords” sequence is moderately amusing–but incomplete. Throughout the entire disc, much is made of the mask that was made for Fishburne to wear in order to get into character as Thrax. What, we couldn’t get a single image, even a still, of the mask or him wearing it? And the deleted scenes, as with most films these days, show that sometimes directors can make good decisions when to axe things.
Seriously, six-year-olds will probably enjoy the film and parents can sit through it about once without terrible discomfort. But it’s not really a keeper, for the film or the disc itself.