Scenes I Love: Observe and Report

Michael Peña was, for me, a major highlight in the recent Marvel Studios film, Ant-Man. His role as Scott Lang’s former cellmate and buddy once out of San Quentin was the linchpin of the film’s comedy side. Michael Peña has had quite a string of very good work on the dramatic side of things (End Of Watch and Fury), yet he has also done some great comedic work.

One great comedic turn comes from the little-seen, but very funny dark comedy, Observe and Report. This film has earned a negative reputation due to one scene between Seth Rogen’s character and that of Anna Faris. But that’s a scene that doesn’t bring me back time and time again to watch this cult classic in the making.

Michael Peña’s character is a fellow shopping mall security guard by the name of Dennis Shavante and he’s sort of the right hand man to Seth Rogen’s bipolar Ronnie Barnhardt who also happens to be a fellow security guard. Peña’s scene in the middle of the film right before he takes Ronnie under his wing was one of the funnier monologues I’ve watched on the big-screen in many years. The follow-up postcard narration later in the film just became the icing on that monologue’s cake.

Here’s the postcard monologue to make it easier to understand one Dennis Shavante.

Dennis Shavante: Whatsup mo’fackle? How’s your dick hanging? Low I hope. I just wanted to write you and say that, you know I really am sorry for the way shit like went down and stuff, my bad, my blunder. I just wanted you to know that you really are my best friend. Problem is I’m a criminal man who doesn’t care and your crime is… you care too much. Regardless of our differences, I hope you know that I always respected you. It’s not every day that you meet someone who stands for something in this world. Anyway, no hard feelings okay, but if you ever want to party, just get your ass to Mexico, the beers are cool and the girls are wet.

Sincerely, your right hand man,

Love, Dennis Shavante.

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