OSMOSIS JONES (2001)

Not every movie we watch is intellectual or artistic fare, but in the right frame of mind they can be very funny. Disgusting, but funny.

Osmosis Jones is a white blood cell, voiced by Chris Rock, tasked with protecting Frank (Bill Murray). But Frank has filthy habits, so Osmosis’ work is cut out for him.

Frank’s body is a city with all the usual municipal services translated as bodily functions. William Shatner is the mayor, David Hyde Pierce is a cold capsule in the unexpected buddy-cop role, Ron Howard as the mayor’s rival, and too many other stars to mention, clearly having fun slumming in a gross-out animated action comedy.

The actual movie we streamed was hi-def; this trailer was a VHS capture

Was it scientifically accurate? No. The threatening virus, “Red Death” voiced by Laurence Fishburne is modeled after Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque Of The Red Death.” Was it funny? Yes. Was it disgusting? Also yes. The kids will love it, and since on some level I am actually nine years old, so did I. Except for one scene.

You wouldn’t think a gross-out action comedy would have a moving, serious moment, but for me this one did. There’s a scene when Frank is dying, the mayor is sitting alone in his office, and the news broadcast is saying; “Things are looking grim. Temperature has risen to dangerous levels, and we have lost contact with the outer extremities.”

I actually know what that feels like. It is my only memory from my battle with spinal meningitis, which came very close to killing me in 1961. My hands felt featureless, like two balloons, with the fingers like thin little wires, and a sense of falling off a cliff.

But… I digress. Part of the fun of the movie is its references to ’90’s action movies, including several of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s oeuvre. The scene where Thrax meets his defeat is definitely Terminator II. I do enjoy catching pop references.

So that’s Osmosis Jones.

  • As usual, Wikipedia has more detail about this or any other movie than you could possibly want. Osmosis Jones
  • (It’s tempting to think someone in Japan saw this movie and said; “Hold my beer” because a similar-theme but far more serious series named Cells At Work was launched in 2015 to critical and scientific acclaim.)

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georgewiman

Older technology guy with photography and history background