Theatrical release poster
|Produced by||Dennis Edwards |
|Written by||Marc Hyman|
David Hyde Pierce
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Edited by||Lois Freeman-Fox|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$14 million|
Osmosis Jones is a 2001 American live-action/animated gross out action comedy film with animated scenes directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon and live action scenes directed by the Farrelly brothers. The film centers on Frank Detorre, a slovenly zookeeper; the live-action scenes are set outside Frank's body, while the animated scenes are set inside his body, which is portrayed as a city inhabited by anthropomorphic blood cells and microorganisms. White blood cell cop Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones and cold pill Drix must prevent deadly virus Thrax from killing Frank within forty-eight hours.
The film was met with mixed reviews, with critics praising the animated scenes and its plot but criticizing the live-action portions and their overuse of gross-out humor. The film was also a box office bomb, earning $14 million against a budget of $70 million, though it later sold well in home media. It also served as the pilot to the Kids' WB spin-off television series Ozzy & Drix (2002–04), where the two main characters get transferred by a mosquito to the body of a teenage boy named Hector and continue their battle against germs and viruses from there. Unlike the film, however, the series is entirely animated and does not contain any live-action sequences and the two leads are recast with Phil LaMarr replacing Chris Rock as Ozzy and Jeff Bennett replacing David Hyde Pierce as Drix.
Frank Detorre (Bill Murray) is an unkempt, slovenly, widowed zookeeper at the Sucat Memorial Zoo in Rhode Island. Depressed by the loss of his wife Maggie years earlier, he copes by eating unhealthily and ignores basic hygiene, to the annoyance of his young daughter Shane (Elena Franklin). During a lunch break, Frank eats a boiled egg he dropped onto the ground after a chimpanzee had stolen it and put it in its mouth.
Inside Frank's body, Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones (Chris Rock), a rebellious and disgraced white blood cell patrolman of the Frank PD, recklessly chases germs from the egg, but fails to catch them and instead causes Frank to have a bad leg cramp. Meanwhile, facing a serious challenge to his re-election prospects, Mayor Phlegmming (William Shatner) doubles down on Frank's consumption of junk-food, despite concerns from his secretary Leah Estrogen (Brandy Norwood). Back in the mouth, Thrax (Laurence Fishburne), a deadly red virus, emerges from the leftover egg and sadistically causes inflammation in the throat.
Unwilling to admit responsibility for the recent symptoms, Phlegmming instructs Frank to take a cold pill through brain signals. The suppressant, Drixenol "Drix" Koldreliff (David Hyde Pierce), is partnered with Ozzy to investigate the recent sore throat. While Drix cools off the inflammation, Ozzy gets a short eyewitness testimony from a terrified bacterium who saw Thrax arrive.
Thrax assumes leadership of a gang of sweat germs and launches an attack on the mucus dam in Frank's nose, causing a runny nose, nearly expelling Ozzy and Drix before Frank inhales them back into the sinuses. As they continue their investigation, Drix hears Phlegmming accusing Ozzy of having the worst record in Frank's body, and he doesn't want a repeat of the same while Frank is currently planning a trip to a chicken wing festival in Buffalo, New York. When he asks Ozzy about having a record, Ozzy reveals to Drix that two years prior, during a science fair at Shane's school, he caused Frank to publicly vomit on Shane's science and P.E. teacher, Mrs. Boyd (Molly Shannon), after seeing a deadly virus on an oyster Frank ate earlier after observing another student's oyster display, due to a boy directing people's attention towards Frank moments before he vomited. The story ran in the newspaper the next day, resulting in Frank, Shane, and Mrs. Boyd becoming the town laughingstock overnight. Frank was also fired from his job at the pea soup factory by his manager and supervisor after the incident embarrassed them, and Mrs. Boyd, after seeing her three kids get mercilessly bullied because of the incident (her daughter Shirley had to change schools as a result and her younger sons Ralph and Chuck have had to continue to endure it), took out a 200-yard restraining order on him to prevent further humiliation by him. His brother, Shane's uncle Bob (Chris Elliott), later helped him get a job at the zoo, where Frank still gets zero respect. Ozzy, in turn, was then suspended from his job working in the stomach and kidneys and then demoted to patrol duty in the mouth for excessive use of unnecessary force due to no one else seeing the virus before he induced Frank to vomit. He tells Drix that since that day he continuously wonders if what he did was right. Drix, in turn, assures Ozzy that he was justified in his actions as raw oysters are frequent breeding grounds for potentially dangerous bacteria of any kind.
Based on information from a vaccine informant, Ozzy and Drix go undercover at a nightclub located within a large zit on Frank's forehead, intending to infiltrate Thrax's gang. Once there, the two discover Thrax's plan to steal a vital chromosome from the hypothalamus, driving up Frank's body temperature and killing him in 48 hours. However, Ozzy's cover is blown and he is forced to scream for help from Drix, who destroys the club with a grenade, killing nearly all of Thrax's gang and seemingly the virus himself. At the same time, Frank meets with Mrs. Boyd to try and get her to temporarily lift her restraining order so he can attend a school father-daughter camping trip (which Mrs. Boyd is a chaperone of) with Shane, but the explosion bursts the zit and causes it to land on her lip, grossing her out, and she angrily refuses and screams at him to leave. In response, and in an attempt to cover up public knowledge that there was a threat to Frank, a furious Phlegmming closes the investigation, fires Ozzy, and orders Drix to leave the city.
Having survived the assault, Thrax kills his last surviving gang members when they suggest waiting to attack the hypothalamus, which would have meant missing his deadline, then discreetly breaks into the hypothalamus gland and steals a DNA bead from a chromosome. As a result, Frank's body temperature begins to rise, alerting Leah to the situation. She tries to bring her concerns to Phlegmming's attention, but when he brushes them off, she calls him out for his selfish pre-occupation with his re-election and decides to investigate herself. Upon discovering Thrax's carnage and sabotage, she alerts security, forcing Thrax to hide. Ozzy, after inadvertedly discovering that that Thrax is still alive and has infiltrated the brain, stops Drix from leaving and persuades him to come back and help him finish the case. Thrax then kidnaps Leah and flees to the uvula to escape. As Frank and Bob get on the road to Buffalo, the effects of Thrax's assault start to take their toll on Frank, much to Bob's growing concern. Phlegmming attempts to speak with Bob via the brain's manual controls, trying to convince him that Frank is fine, but Frank is unresponsive, forcing Bob to call the trip off and have Frank taken to the hospital, causing Phlegmming to scream in devastation at losing his means for re-election.
As Frank is rushed to the hospital in a fever-induced coma, with Shane (whose camping trip school bus had passed by the scene) joining Bob as they jump into Frank's car to follow his ambulance to the hospital, Ozzy and Drix give chase and save Leah, but Thrax escapes out of the mouth by using pollen, causing Frank to sneeze and expelling Thrax from his body. Drix shoots Ozzy out of his arm cannon in pursuit of Thrax to the surface of Shane's right eye and her false eyelash (given to her by one of her friends while she was on the bus). After a fight between the two, Thrax pins Ozzy down and threatens to kill Shane next as his next victim, but gets stuck in the eyelash; Ozzy's pliable body allows him to escape and hang onto Shane's real eyelash as the false eyelash slides off and lands in a glass of rubbing alcohol, where Thrax screams as he dissolves to his death.
As Frank's temperature reaches 108 degrees, his heartbeat flatlines as he suffers hyperpyrexia, leaving Shane devastated, believing her harsh words in an argument they had the night before have caused her father to lose the will to live. Riding on one of Shane's tears, Ozzy reenters Frank's body with Thrax's necklace of DNA beads (which he had swiped from Thrax during their brawl), and returns the one stolen from Frank to the hypothalamus, reviving Frank just in time. Having narrowly cheated death, Frank commits himself to living a much healthier lifestyle with the help of Shane, while Ozzy begins a relationship with Leah and is re-instated to the force with Drix as his new partner. Phlegmming (who heartbrokenly realized during the near-death of Frank that his reckless and selfish actions nearly drove him and the City of Frank to said point) loses his bid for reelection and is reduced to working as a custodian in the bowels. He later accidentally ejects himself from the body by pushing a button that triggers Frank's flatulence.
Animation voice cast
- Chris Rock as Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones, an overzealous blue and white blood cell with little respect for authority
- Laurence Fishburne as Thrax, a tall, extremely virulent, pathogenic agent
- David Hyde Pierce as Drixenol "Drix" Koldreliff, a stoic cold pill who becomes Ozzy's best friend
- Brandy Norwood as Leah, Mayor Phlegmming's secretary and Ozzy's love interest
- William Shatner as Mayor Phlegmming, the self-centered mayor of the "City of Frank"
- Ron Howard as Tom Colonic, Phlegmming's rival for the mayoralty of the City of Frank
- Joel Silver (uncredited) as the police chief, Ozzy's boss
- Steve Susskind as Mob Germ Boss
- Carlos Alazraqui as Spanish germ
- Antonio Fargas as Chill
- Rodger Bumpass as Announcer for Nerve News Network and Joe Cramp
- Paul Christie as Dan Matter and Gern
- Richard Steven Horvitz as Male Red Blood Cell
- Kid Rock as Kidney Rock
- Joe C. as Kidney Rock
- James Arnold Taylor as Coffee Holding White Blood Cell
- U Aung Ko as Police Officers
- Liz Callaway as Female Cell
- Bill Murray as Frank Detorre; The animated part of the film takes place inside his body, which is referred to by the cells as "the City of Frank"
- Elena Franklin as Shane Detorre, Frank's 10-year-old daughter
- Molly Shannon as Mrs. Boyd, Shane's science and P.E. teacher
- Chris Elliott as Bob Detorre, Frank's brother and Shane's uncle
Osmosis Jones went through development hell during production. The animated sequences, directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon, went into production as planned, but acquiring both a director and a star actor for the live-action sequences took a considerable amount of time, until Bill Murray was cast as the main character of Frank, and Peter and Bobby Farrelly stepped in to direct the live-action sequences. As part of their contract, the Farrelly brothers are credited as the primary directors of the film, although they did no supervision of the animated portions of the film. Will Smith was interested in the part of Ozzy, but in the end his schedule didn't permit it.
Osmosis Jones was originally rated PG-13 for "crude language" and "bodily humor" in 2000. However, Warner Bros. edited the film to make it family-friendly, and in 2001 when it was released the film was re-rated PG for "bodily humor".
Animal action was supervised by the American Humane Association.
The film had its world premiere on August 7, 2001 and then on August 10, 2001.
The first trailer for Osmosis Jones was released right in front of Pokemon 3: The Movie on April 6, 2001 and contains a classical masterpiece from Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey whose version sounds different than the version used in the film as done by Zdenek of Slovak by Naxos and hasn't been heard on any of the ads that come right after the trailer which never had the chance to appear on U.S. television or a video or DVD released by Warner Home Video and is not PAL-Tweaked.
Osmosis Jones had its world premiere screening on August 7, 2001 at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California. Shortly after that, the film widely opened on August 10, 2001 in 2,305 theaters worldwide. Upon its original release, the film was a financial stump, and was the second-to-last production for Warner Bros.' feature traditional animation department (following The Iron Giant, and followed by Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which both also lost money upon their original releases). The movie opened at #7 in its first opening weekend at the U.S. box office, accumulating $5,271,248 on its opening week. The film soon grossed $13,596,911. The film was a box office bomb, unable to recover its $70 million production budget.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 55% based on 108 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The animated portion of Osmosis is zippy and fun, but the live-action portion is lethargic." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating to reviews, the film has received an average score of 57 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.
The animated parts of Osmosis Jones were praised for their plot and fast pace, in contrast with the criticized live action segments. Robert Koehler of Variety praised the film for its animated and live-action segments intervening, claiming it to be "the most extensive interplay of live action and animation since Who Framed Roger Rabbit". The New York Times wrote "the film, with its effluvia-festival brand of humor, is often fun, and the rounded, blobby rendering of the characters is likable. But the picture tries too hard to be offensive to all ages. I suspect that even the littlest viewers will be too old for that spit." Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4.
The use of crude humor in the film, as seen in most films directed by the Farrelly brothers, was widely criticized. As such, Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader described the film as a "cathartically disgusting adventure movie". Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide praised the film's animation and its glimpse of intelligence although did criticize the humor as being "so distasteful". Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly felt that the film had a diverse premise as it "oscillates between streaky black comedy and sanitary instruction", however the scatological themes were again pointed out. Jonathan Foreman of New York Post claimed Osmosis Jones to have generic plotting, saying that "It's no funnier than your average grade-school biology lesson and less pedagogically useful than your typical Farrelly brothers comedy." Michael Sragow of Baltimore Sun praised David Hyde Pierce's performance as Drix, claiming him to be "hilarious" and "a take-charge dose of medicine". Despite the mixed reviews, the film received numerous Annie award nominations including Best Animated Feature (losing to Shrek).
A soundtrack containing hip hop and R&B music as well as "Torian and Andrew's Babblin'" was released on August 7, 2001 by Atlantic Records. The soundtrack failed to chart on the Billboard 200, but Trick Daddy's single "Take It to da House" managed to make it to 88 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
- Once Upon a Time... Life, an animated series with similar anthropomorphic representations of cells and germs.
- Ozzy & Drix, an animated series that serves as a continuation of the film.
- Inside Out, a Pixar computer-animated film that is also set inside the human body
- Cells at Work!, a Japanese manga/anime series with a similar premise
- Inner Workings, a Disney short that is set in the human body
- "Osmosis Jones". The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- "Osmosis Jones (2001) - Box Office Mojo".
- "Osmosis Jones". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- "Osmosis Jones". IGN. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
- "Osmosis Jones review". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
- Koehler, Robert (2001-08-02). "Osmosis Jones". Variety. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- "Movie Review - FILM REVIEW; Bill Murray as a Battlefield and Showing It - NYTimes.com". www.nytimes.com.
- Osmosis Jones review Ebert, Roger
- Alspector, Lisa. "Osmosis Jones". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- McDonagh, Maitland. "Osmosis Jones". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
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