Frank Detorri (Bill Murray) is an overweight single dad who abuses his body by eating junk food and drinking with his buddy Bob (Chris Elliott). Only his daughter Shane (Elena Franklin) and her teacher Mrs. Boyd (Molly Shannon) care enough to try and stop him from self-destructing. Meanwhile in Frank’s body, a war rages with its internal inhabitants. Mayor Phlegmming (William Shatner) is a corrupt fat-cat brain cell, Osmosis Jones (Chris Rock) is the young white blood cell police officer ready to right the wrongs and he and fellow crime fighter Drix (David Hyde Pierce) try to capture the villainous virus Thrax (Laurence Fishburne) who is intent on killing Frank.
The Farrelly brothers are famous for their quirky comedies (“Dumb and Dumber,” “There’s Something About Mary”) and hilarious story-lines so I went to this movie with great expectations for a very funny film. The cast is excellent (I’m a fan of Murray and tend to like him in whatever he does), and the story’s creative and the combination of animation and live-action is certainly unique. Any movie that educates its younger audience about the internal workings of the human body (in a creative way) while they are being entertained, certainly deserves praise. This movie not only cleverly introduces the internal organs but likewise sets up the way the body works when it gets sick and does it with an action oriented script (even using “Matrix” style fighting). There are a few touching father/daughter scenes (as fatherly as Murray can be) and a really clever script with witty dialogue and funny metaphors.
Watching a movie where the main character passes gas, vomits bad oysters all over a woman’s shoes, sneezes a big green blob out of his nose and then sniffs it back up, places his infected toe on a dinner table and (in the most disgusting scene of the movie) inadvertently pops a huge white zit on his forehead then instructs the woman in front of him on how to wipe it off her lip, isn’t my idea of a good family-friendly entertainment. Those live-action scenes (along with other animated scenes like that) make this movie too crude for kids and too juvenile for adults.
Needless to say, the Farrelly brothers are famous for their edgier scripts and unique approach to filmmaking, but watching a movie about how your body fights poisons, toxins, mucus and other germs is not easy to stomach. Even though this is a clever movie, the entertainment level feels more like a made-for-TV after school special, rather than a feature family film. I usually adore Murray and laugh hysterically at his style of humor. Strangely enough, in this movie I found myself covering my eyes several times and resisting the urge to perform a bodily function I’d just learned about on the screen.