Animation and the Farrelly brothers go well together. Especially when the animation is inside a human body, and the Farrelly brothers speciality is gross-out humour. The brother made their name directing comedies such as Dumb And Dumber, Kingpin, There's Something About Mary and Me Myself And Irene, so the inside of a human body is probably their ideal playground, filled with snot, mucus, farts and urine. However, not being content with just the gross things inside of a body, the brothers, Bobby and Peter, have split the film with live-action too.
Bill Murray plays Frank, a zookeeper who will eat just about anything as long as it is not healthy. Within the opening minutes, Frank eats a boiled egg that not only has been in the mouth of a monkey, but has been dropped on the ground. As Frank swallows the egg, we follow it into his mouth and the film then turns animated. Osmosis Jones, voiced by a hyper Chris Rock, happens to be patrolling the mouth when the egg arrives and attempts to apprehend the germs that travelled with it. Jones is a white-blood cell and is part of the police force within Frank. The inside of Frank is seen as a giant city, complete with streets, houses and blood vessel 'motorways'.
Frank is feeling the ill effects of the egg and assuming that it's a flu takes a cold pill, which emerges in his body as Drix, voiced by David Hyde Pierce (better known as Frasier's brother in the TV series of the same name). Drix is a cold pill that has a very heavy arsenal and a by-the-book attitude. Jones and Drix are teamed up and sent to the throat to clear it up.
Unbeknown to Jones or Drix, the egg also carried with it a deadly virus Thrax (voiced by Laurence Fishbourne) who is intent on killing Frank in record time. Mayor of Frank, voiced by an unrecognisable William Shatner, running for re-election and not wanting to let the voting cells see that there is anything wrong with Frank, is desperately trying to keep a lid on everything. Will the good guys find out what is happening and stop Thrax before Frank is sent to the eternal fast food joint in the sky?
Osmosis Jones takes a very simple premise and really lets loose with it. It would be a carbon copy of every buddy/buddy movie made, but with the action taking place inside a human body, its elevated to a much higher level. The world inside of Franks is excellent to watch as various cells bustle along with their day-to-day lives. It also has its own criminal underworlds, normally associated with the less desirable places in a body, such as zits and in growing toenails. Many body parts are very well conceived, such as the stomach resembling an airport terminal, the Mayor's mansion in the head and veins as super highways. There are hilarious billboards everywhere, and you'd have to see the film twice to catch them all.
As the Farrelly brothers direct, you can expect that there are copious amounts of snot, farts, urine, pus and other gross material. In fact some of the most disgusting scenes are in the live-action sequences, with one very unpleasant zit instance. Unpleasant but funny and that has always been the key with the Farrelly's, their grossest moments are also their most funny. The animation is top notch, very engaging and colourful, with dark shadows in the armpits streets, to well lit scenes in downtown Frank, it all blends very well with the live action stuff. For example, Jones accidentally manages to shoot a major nerve whilst chasing some germs and the resultant cramp/nerve twinge affects Frank straight away, with Bill Murray screaming and rolling around on the floor. Murray is really on form, playing a loveable slob, with Farrelly regular, Chris Elliot, also keeping things funny as a fellow zookeeper.
Although not a major hit at the box office, (probably due to the fact that most kids will miss a lot of the more 'adult' jokes, and most parents would think it was disgusting) Osmosis Jones proves that a good concept and well directed humour delivers a fine film, especially in the hands of Bobby and Peter Farrelly.
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