Time for another Flashback Review. This is a film with both live action and animated elements. Its one of my guilty pleasures. In the year 2001, a few animated films came out including “Shrek,” “Jimmy Neutron” and “Monsters Inc.” The three animated hits went to become eligible nominees for an Academy Award for “Best Animated Film.” Shrek ultimately won. One film that never had this much attention, is an underrated movie called “Osmosis Jones.”
The Premise is about the title character, (played by Chris Rock) who joins forces with a pill named Drix, (played by David Hyde Pierce) to prevent a virus called Thrax, (played by Laurence Fishburne) from killing Frank, (played by Bill Murray) who is the person Osmosis lives inside him to make sure nothing goes wrong from within.
Directed by The Farrelly Brothers, (Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary) Osmosis Jones was released in 2001. It received mixed reviews from critics and it was a box office disappointment. This was a failed attempt to establish a franchise, as a result, the merchandise was rejected due to not earning enough revenue. However, a short lived cartoon called, “Ozzy & Drix,” is the only thing close enough to exist.
This review doesn’t contain any SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Delicious & Doo Doo Aspects
Delicious: The Cast including Chris Rock, David Hyde Pierce, Laurence Fishburne & Bill Murray all did an outstanding job for their respective performance.
Fun Fact: Will Smith was considered to star as the main character, but turned it down, because he was busy working on a biopic about Muhammad Ali. He later went on to star in his very first animated movie called “Shark Tale.” Maybe Will didn’t want to star in a Warner Bros. buddy cop film after starring in “Wild Wild West.”
The High Concept or What Of Scenario was pretty interesting, mixing a “Lethal Weapon” type of buddy cop film combined with an episode of “The Magic School Bus” minus the class going inside The Human Body.
Chemistry between Osmosis and Drix felt normal for a typical Buddy-Cop picture. They’re like Lee & Carter from “Rush Hour.” Speaking of Rush Hour, the sequel came out the same year as Osmosis Jones.
Drix’s knowledgeable personality is similar to Hermione Granger from “Harry Potter.” Both of them at first didn’t get along with their new friends, until they he/she finally accepts him as a buddy. Coincidentally, “Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone” came out three months after Osmosis Jones opened in August. Both films are distributed by Warner Bros.
The Animation looked beautiful such as the environmental background, character designs & set pieces.
A Wilhelm Scream is heard with Thrax going GTA on a random bystander. “Grand Theft Auto III” was released alongside Osmosis Jones.
The film predicted Barack Obama’s arc word “change,” with one character saying “That’s the smell of Change.”
I’m gonna have to give this movie credit for inspiring “Inside Out.” For example, both Chris Rock and Amy Poehler both start out as SNL Cast Members, then they went on to work on a similar film with the lead character with a blue related feature attempting to save one person from within the body.
The Best Line in my opinion is, “You want Osmosis, you got Osmosis! It deserves an Extra Point as one of the best pre-fight lines of all time.
Kid Rock has a cameo appearance similar to Vanilla Ice’s cameo in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II.” The late Joe C. (Kid Rock’s sidekick) also makes a cameo as well. I bet “The Simpsons Movie” was inspired by Osmosis Jones to let Green Day cameo as themselves in animated form.
The film is filled with one liners, (in typical action comedies) pop culture references to films, and an Edgar Allen Poe reference.
Osmosis has a backstory on why he’s the black sheep in front of his peers.
If you’re a big time “Pokémon” fan, there’s a pause worthy moment of a kid holding a Pikachu toy.
The Final Battle/Race Against The Clock is based on “The Matrix” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” By the way, Laurence Fishburne played Neo’s mentor Morpheus from “The Matrix Trilogy.” I’ll give it Bonus Points for paying an homage to “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” one of my favorite films of all time.
During an ADR recording, Chris Rock accidentally said Brandy instead of Leah. The name of the actress/singer playing the love interest. However, the editor might’ve said, “It’s okay to throw it in, think of it as ad-libbing.” Ad-libbing means improvising without an element written for the script.
An Eminem song is referenced. Eminem released a collaborative album with D12 titled, “Devil’s Night” the exact same year the movie came out. Eminem also participated in a movie with Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre called, “The Wash.”
Like it’s future successor Inside Out, The Ending nearly got me teary eyed. Whatever you do, don’t bring a bowl of chopped onions next to you!
Doo Doo: One scene with Osmosis saying “What is that cherry smell?” Is off sync, like one of those Japanese movies with the English dub off sync. The issue was later fixed & I’ll give it a pass.
Like most buddy cop films, there’s a “we are through” cliche. I find this predicable. As most of us know the pair will make amends and put their differences aside.
Frank’s daughter is named Shane. Look, I understand most boys and girls have a unisex (it means same) given name, was she named after Professor X’s favorite movie of all time? If a girl in real life is named Shane, I’ll give the con a pass.
One character gets fired for puking on a random individual. Does this ever happen to anybody famous like Mel Gibson, Hugh Grant, or Lindsay Lohan? I don’t think so.
Another nitpick for me is when Chris Elliot, who strangely resembles the hippie teacher from “Beavis & Butthead,” saying the lines, “It’s ok I’m her niece!” Screenwriting 101 for wannabe writers, always double check on the dialogue for your script before the studio green-lits it.
The Final Verdict: B-
Osmosis Jones is one of my guilty pleasures. If you haven’t seen this underrated movie, I recommend it. I’m glad Pixar didn’t 100 percent plagiarized it, they must’ve taken some notes for inspiration for Inside Out, similar to “The Powerpuff Girls Movie,” “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” was inspired by Mojo Jojo’s evil plan to replace humanity with nothing but apes. Think of the two pictures as both apples and oranges. They taste different, but they’re part of a respective treat to enjoy.