“Osmosis Jones” is a rather curious film – on the one hand its aimed at appealing to family audiences, on the other there’s some dark themes and gags in here much more suited to adults.
The action is split up into two sections – the live-action footage involving Murray and his daughter, and the animated elements inside the body. The live-action stuff, which is about 30 minutes of the 80 something minute runtime, I won’t hesitate to say is dreadful – I mean “Nutty Professor II” last 20 minutes style dreadful. Aside from one or two good ‘close up’ shots which are funny (ie. a certain zit joke) its quite embarassing with the young girl Elena Franklin proving to be the only element worth watching.
The animated stuff on the other hand is quite fun. The animators and producers have come up with some really creative ideas for different sections of the body and use lots of visual gags to help them along – whilst the voice talent is perfectly suited for their parts. Chris Rock does what gags he can do best in a PG rated film and combined with the rather anal qualities of Pierce the pair play off each other real well. Indeed most of the characters are well developed bar one – the villain.
The nearly unrecognisable voice of Fishburne is the baddie who is actually a standard action movie bad guy (evil for evil’s sake). What’s really interesting here though is this guy is pretty darn dark – there’s some stuff he does in this which, if done in live action, would easily score an R-rating (ie. bodies exploding messily, lots of pyromania). Nevertheless it does make him a palpable threat very quickly which is needed in a film with a short running time like this.
There’s in jokes and comedy spoofs galore which makes the humour of this resemble “Shrek” in quite a few ways but not on the same level of writing sadly. If there wasn’t any live action and the animation bit had been fleshed out more then this could’ve been a highlight of the season, as is though its quite watchable Summer fare and fun for the young ones (though not the very young uns).