Osmosis Jones Review

by commie
  • Studio

    Conundrum Entertainment
  • Director

    Farrelly Brothers
  • Publisher

    Warner Bros.
  • Writer

    Marc Hyman
  • Music

    Randy Edelman

I've got a cold. Back in my early days of being human, my parents explained that cold was caused by a virus. Later, in high school biology class, I learned that viruses are actually just bits of DNA inside a protein shell. Apparently, I could've skipped this part of biology, because there's a movie that explains this perfectly: Osmosis Jones.

Biology lessons

This movie was so ridiculous that I didn't believe I hadn't made it up out of thin air. But, as a quick Google search confirmed, it exists. The movie's premise is that we're inside a human body, fighting against a deadly virus who's trying to kill the host body. The difference between this body and a real body are endless, but the most obvious difference is that, in the normal human body, cells aren't anthropomorphic talking crime fighters (a little-known subset of the furry fandom). I'm willing to forgive that, though, because the body belongs to Bill Murray, and since I'm not Bill Murray, I'm not in a place to tell you what goes on inside Bill Murray's body. As far as I know, this movie might be completely factual.

Dive Right In

First things first, we're introduced to Bill Murray's character—Frank—and immediately shown, without a doubt, that he has hit the low point in his career. Frank spends his first three minutes on screen dousing a hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise and salt, fighting with a monkey for the egg, and then eating said egg after it has touched the monkey's mouth, the ground, and Bill Murray's hands. Then we're brought into the real action as we're introduced to our title character, Mr. Jones himself, as he's looking at pornography instead of doing his job of protecting Frank's disgusting body from foreign invaders. Chris Rock establishes himself as a discount Axl Foley when he exclaims "You see this gooey white sackus membranous 'round my personhood?" (ironically, Chris Rock's first film was Beverly Hills Cop 2). The film makes more attempts to present his loose-cannon doesn't-play-by-the-rules persona as he chases germs around the city, shouting one-liners as he jumps through cracks in walls (because that's how osmosis works, kids).

bill murray in pain

Soon after, we're introduced to our villain—a deadly virus, Thrax (played by Morpheus), contracted from the egg that Frank ate earlier. In his first minute of screen time, he kills two characters ("Oh spit!"), lights a boat on fire, and still manages to squeeze in a one-liner. After that, we're introduced to our mayor (William Shatner), our mayor's opponent (Ron Howard), and Drix, a cold pill (David Hyde Pierce). By now, the movie's exhausted its supply of big name stars and plot critical characters; the rest of the characters are so unimportant that they're listed as "Additional Character Voice" in the credits (except for Kid Rock & co, who play kidney stones).

The plot finally starts rolling. Thrax fights the armpit mafia with kung-fu in a black trenchcoat, in case you forgot which movie he was from, kills and dismembers more characters than is appropriate for a kids movie, and causes general mischief around the body. Jones and Drix act out their buddy cop roles—the tight-laced, by the books Drix, and the loose-cannon Jones—as they track down Thrax. Thrax's plan is revealed, and in no subtle way explains that he has killed three people and plans to kill Frank as soon as possible. Frank is busy embarrassing himself and generally being a terrible and disgusting father (and his daughter is busy telling him that deodorant causes cancer and that life is "not fair"—she straight up tells him that if he and her mother had listened to her then her mother would still be alive). Despite creating plot holes bigger than Frank's medical bill and piling on clichés until we can't handle it anymore, the movie somehow makes it to the climax.

brought to you by the co-writers of a seinfeld episode

bill murray in pain

The writing in Osmosis Jones is pretty terrible, but that's to be expected. I mean, sure, the plot is filled with holes and clichés, but I don't really hope for anything more from a kids movie. The live action portions, as one would predict from the directors of Dumb and Dumber, are terrible. You'd expect them to at least be improved by a quality actor like Bill Murray, but his overacting actually makes it worse. In addition, being a kids movie, it tries too hard to be "gross" (because that's what all the kids are into these days), despite it adding literally nothing to the film.

The casting choices aren't great either. Bill Murray works alright as the disgusting main character, but most of the other actors don't fit their roles. Chris Rock doesn't fit as a white blood cell. Morpheus doesn't fit as a deadly virus. David Hyde Pierce doesn't fit as a cold pill (his character is actually pretty terrible in general). Other than that, the film's constant attempts to appear funny to adults fall flat on their face ("You up spit's creek without a paddle!"), and Shatner's motives are questionable at best (Sure, he doesn't want to look like a flip-flop by suddenly eating healthy, but why does he refuse to go to the doctor?) The daughter is annoying (like movie kids usually are), and Frank is unrealistically disgusting, but there's not much else to say. I can't really say I expected that much more, either.


Article Summary

The Good

  • Decent animation
  • Interesting concept

The Bad

  • Plot is boring and cliché
  • Live action portions are badly done
  • Bad casting choices

Perfect animated compliment to Agent Cody Banks

It's an average kids movie. It's not the best kids movie I've seen, but it's not the worst. It's boring and predictable, but that's what a kids movie is. If you're delirious on cough medicine, it might just be interesting enough to hold your attention. Worked for me.

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