Osmosis Jones

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
He's one cell of a guy!

Alrighty then, let's see if we can keep this from being gross...

2001's Osmosis Jones is a Buddy Cop Movie featuring Chris Rock and David Hyde Pierce. The two are paired up to stop a nasty criminal (played by Laurence Fishburne) from destroying their beloved city, hindered by a self-centered mayor (William Shatner), whose assistant (Brandy) is the main love interest.

Also, this all takes place inside a human body.

Osmosis Jones is a white blood cell (voiced, humorously enough, by black comedian Chris Rock) who lost his reputation after a nasty incident that happened to ruin Frank (the human this movie takes place in, played by Bill Murray) out in the real world. Frank eats a contaminated egg that happened to carry a deadly virus by the name of Thrax, whose goal is to kill Frank within 48 hours.

After Thrax starts doing some damage, Osmosis is paired up with a cold pill named Drix. The two clash frequently, as most new cop partners do in movies, until Drix sees Thrax himself, and takes Ozzy's side.

Meanwhile, while all this is happening the animated world of the City of Frank, we get a few peeks at what Frank is going through, in the live-action sequences of the movie, trying to care for his health-conscious daughter Shane.

Body jokes abound, and there are a couple of rather...disgusting live-action scenes, but the movie itself is not bad. The way it stands, it's either funny and sadly underrated, or disgusting and unappealing. It spawned a somewhat popular spinoff cartoon called Ozzy and Drix.

Tropes used in Osmosis Jones include:
  • An Aesop: Watch your health, at least for the sake of your loved ones.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: It's hard to believe, but Thrax is a much bigger fish than ebola. Of course, that's saying a lot.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Well, while Frank's death wouldn't even make a dent in our society, for the cells it'd be a Class 6. And there's your Fridge Horror for the day.
    • Thrax has done this at least three times before, which in terms of casualties is the equivalent of burning the entire world to the ground three thousand times over.
  • Art Major Biology: All anthromorphisation aside, anyone who's passed high school biology knows that viruses don't work even remotely like they're depicted in the film. Though they can be harmful to the organisms that they infest, they aren't biologically programmed to just cause their host as much harm as possible. They infest a host's cells so that they can reproduce by multiplying and spreading throughout its body--any harmful symptoms are simply side-effects of this, and killing the host would simply kill the virus in the process. If Thrax actually behaved like a virus, he would have spent the movie making an army of Thrax-clones or pulling Grand Theft Me on cells à la Invasion of the Body Snatchers, not trying to kill Frank by stealing his hypothalamus.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Thrax goes after the Hypothalamus, causing his poor victim to undergo a life-threatening fever. On the cellular level, this is represented as the city burning down.
  • Badass Longcoat: Thrax. It's also practical: he can spread it to act as wings or a parachute.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Frank's subconscious definitely counts.
  • But Not Too White: Drix, played by David Hyde Pierce. The producers were looking for someone as white-bread as possible. Niles Crane is about as white-bread as you can get.
  • By-The-Book Cop: Drix.
  • Captain Ersatz: Drix bears a strong resemblance to Iron Man
  • Cassandra Truth: Osmosis is the only one who knows about Thrax's plans.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When Thrax is destroying the saliva boat, he's humming "Fever" , which gives you his method of killing making this a classic use of this trope.
    • There's also Frank's allergy to pollen pods.
  • Conspicuous CG: Drix, the cars, and most of the high-up shots of Frank City.
    • Especially when Drix tries to distort himself like Ozzy (before they sneak into The Zit) and his crushed-up head is temporarily animated in 2D.
  • Cool Car: Thrax's car.
  • Covers Always Lie: Due to contract issues, the Farrelly Brothers (of Dumb and Dumber fame) are listed as primary directors. They only did the live-action footage, and didn't have any input on the animation and script.
  • Cowboy Cop: Osmosis
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Also counts as Getting Crap Past the Radar.

Osmosis: "What you talkin' 'bout? I'm a legend, girl! Chicks line up to divide with me!"
Leah: "Oh really? Because to me, you look like the kind of cell who mostly divides with himself."

  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Averted. We don't hear much about her, but Shane's mother was apparently even worse to her body than Frank is, and presumably died for it.
  • Disney Villain Death: Thrax falls to his death into a beaker of alcohol.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mrs. Boyd gets a little embarrassed due to Frank throwing up on her after eating some bad oysters (which was revealed to be Ozzy flushing a virus out of his system) and places a restraining order against him for it. Sheesh lady, its just a little bile not stalker harassment.
  • Evil Laugh: Thrax pulls this off in a way that makes him seem demented or schizophrenic. Don't get me wrong - it's still really creepy.
  • Evilly Affable: Thrax. At least at first. As the film progresses, he slips more and more frequently into a bloodthirsty, manic persona until he hits a full-on Villainous Breakdown.
  • Evil Is Petty: Only partially by Thrax. He wants to kill Frank in a record time so he can be in medical textbooks.
  • Executive Meddling: The movie was originally planned to be PG-13, but all swearing, a scene of Ozzy visiting sperm cells, and several more violent scenes were cut to be more kid friendly. This is considered by fans to be the worst decision made in production. Some have questioned on the movie would have been if it was PG-13. Some have believed that Warner Bros had trouble on deciding to market this as an animated comedy for adults or an animated kids' movie.
  • Eyes of Gold: Thrax
  • Family-Unfriendly Death and Family-Unfriendly Violence: Used rather disturbingly for a PG movie -- cells exploding into red lava goo and the villain turning sickly green and becoming hideously warped in a beaker of alcohol, although the latter happened to a being of pure evil...
  • Fan Disservice: That picture of the chief's wife, which can be seen during the scene when Ozzy is first seen talking his boss.
  • Fantastic Voyage: They're already permanently inside the body.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Here's one example:

Osmosis: What the heck is an uvula?!
Drix: It's that little dangly thing that hangs down in Frank's--
Osmosis Jones: Boxer shorts! Okay, here we go!
Drix: Not that little dangly thing! The one in his throat!
Osmosis: I knew that. I knew that.

    • So...aiming a film about cops tracking down a serial killer at families isn't Getting Crap Past the Radar?
      • It is if you make it animated and edit out the more adult content.
  • Giant Germs: The entire movie is populated with Type 3s and Type 4s, but in particular Drix and Thrax respectively.
  • Green Around the Gills: Ozzy as a germ drinking phlegm for a beverage in the club. In addition to this trope, this causes his head to twist and stretch as well.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Osmosis is voiced by Chris Rock, the Mayor is voiced by William Shatner, and Leah is voiced by Brandy (the R&B singer from the 1990s who had that sitcom Moesha).
  • Homage
    • Thrax's death is extremely reminiscent of T-1000's bath in molten lava. Also, the part where Jones reassembles himself after getting split in two looks a lot like the part in Terminator 2 where the T-1000 pulls its head back together after getting blasted point blank by a shotgun.
    • The fight on Shane's eye, and Thrax's design are shout outs to The Matrix.(Not to mention the fact that Thrax is voiced by Laurence Fishburne)
    • "Gentlemen, it's been a pleasure playing with you this evening." Including the fact that this line is followed by the band playing "Nearer My God To Thee."
    • The Godfather scene in the armpit.
    • "El Muerte Roja" or "The Red Death" possibly refers to Edgar Allan ]Poe's "The Masque of The Red Death", also, both diseases are written in without much identity other than that they kill in awful ways.
  • An Ice Person: Drix's painkilling abilities are represented this way. Inevitably, this leads to the line "You just iced my witness!"
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Thrax not only plans to kill Shane, but reminisces about killing a "little girl" who "didn't like to wash her hands."
  • Ink Suit Actor: Kidney Rock.
  • Jerkass: Mayor Phlemming. It's largely thanks to him that Frank's health and family relationships are in such a wreck.
  • Kill It with Fire: Thrax's way of dealing with people.
  • Knowledge Broker: The flu shot.

That's funny. He doesn't look fluish.

  • Meaningful Echo - You want Osmosis? You got Osmosis!
  • Medium Blending - The entire concept behind this movie. Live action humans and cartoon insides ala Fantastic Voyage.
  • Mood Whiplash: The briefing scene at the Zit is rather disorienting, swinging from Thrax's ominous plan and rant to Ozzy's ridiculous attempts to trick information from him.
  • Most Writers Are Human
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mayor Phlemming when he sees the City of Frank getting burned up.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: During the final fight, Thrax tries use his chain, which hold Frank's as well as his previous victims' hypothalamus chromosome, to strangle Ozzy with. However Shane winds up blinking (they're fighting on her eye) separating the two with the chain still around Ozzy's neck. After Thrax's last attack fails, Ozzy manages to escape with the chain while Thrax falls into a vat of alcohol.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Leah, along with pretty much every other female cell in the movie.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Mayor Phlemming. Who only cares about his upcoming election and nearly inadvertently kills Frank with his negligence.
  • Oh Crap: Thrax's reaction when Drix's massive grenade gets uncapped.
  • Oh My Gods: Cells use 'Frank' either as their term for 'God' or as an expletive.
  • Omnicidal Maniac:
    • Thrax, on a cellular scale. His stated goal is to kill Frank in two days, faster than any other virus has ever killed, and give himself a whole new chapter in the history medical books.
  • Our Founder:
    • A sperm cell, naturally.
    • Also doubles as Parental Bonus, since many children will not see the statue in the shot, much less recognize it for what it is.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Drix disguises himself to get into the Zit...by wearing a frozen germ on his head. And it works.
  • Reverse Mole - The Flu Shot who hangs out with germs while providing info to Frank's Finest.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect - Surprisingly averted. For most of the movie the two worlds have no direct interaction. There are a couple moments, such as Frank's subconscious, and the fight on the fake eyelash, although that uses rather poor CGI rather than live action.
  • Scary Black Man: Thrax played by Laurence Fishburne.
  • Sesquipedalian Smith: Osmosis Jones
  • Shout-Out: When Drix and Ozzy return to the police station from blowing up The Zit, Ozzy accidentally calls Leah "Brandy," which is the name of her voice actor.
  • Shown Their Work: The portrayal of anatomy is pretty impressive for a movie where everything is anthropomorphic, such as Osmosis mentioning his parents coming over on the umbilical cord. Also, creators worked with a professional martial artist to make Thrax's fighting more accurate.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Thrax at points; and though probably unintentional Ozzy does it at times.
    • Drix dons one when they are trying to intimidate the flu shot
  • Spock Speak: Subverted--in a flashback, Frank speaks to a kid at a science fair who talks in this manner about his project to leach the toxins out of polluted oysters. Certain the kid's a genius and the project worked, Frank picks one out of the container and eats it raw. Then finds out the kid is actually of very low intelligence and the oysters are still polluted. (This, incidentally, is what led to Jones's disgrace--he panicked at the thought of all those toxins going into Frank and pressed an emergency "vomit" button at exactly the wrong time.)
  • Swiss Army Tears: Justified- after defeating Thrax, Osmosis jumps into one of Shane's tears that falls into Frank's mouth to return the hypothalamus chain. It probably appeared this way to the doctors, though.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Frank. Sorry, Shane, it's true. Eating raw, polluted oysters. Eating the egg dropped in a filthy monkey cage, where not even the ten second or even the one second rule should apply. All his knowledge goes to promoting his laziness or retaining sports statistics.
    • Well, considering that Mayor Phlemming has been running his brain...
  • Torso with a View: Self-invoked by Osmosis to avoid succumbing to the trope below.
  • Touch of Death: One of Thrax's primary weapons. Everything he even so much as pricks with his long claw seems to burn up.
  • Unflinching Walk: Thrax pulls one off particularly well.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Due to the previously mentioned sanitizing, as the movie became a light-hearted comedy, Thrax didn't change much, resulting in a disproportionately dark villain. It gives an odd feeling of Mood Whiplash when he is placed up against the goofy protagonists.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Thrax has a subtle one during the final confrontation on Shane's eye. His normally slick dreadlocks fall out of place, his voice gets rougher, and his Evil Laugh gets a lot creepier.
    • Another slight one happens when Thrax enters the subconscious and sees all Frank's repressed memories. He stumbles around in confusion, visibly unnerved, before running out in a panic.

Thrax: This cat was sick before I even got here.

  • Visual Pun: All the signs and grafitti throughout the movie contain these.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Most cells have a limited variant of this -- for instance, when Osmosis wants to fit in with a looser crowd, he makes himself one-eyed. Drix cannot do this, so he winds up using a small frozen cell as a Nice Hat.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Though the actual scene isn't shown, it's shown on the front page of the paper in all its disgusting glory.
  • Witty Banter: Provided by two cells who act as newscasters.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: Somehow an ill man who ate a bad oyster and throws up on a teacher becomes a huge story, so huge that Frank lost his job and the teacher's daughter had to transfer schools.
  • Yet Another Baby Panda: Parodied with panda animal crackers.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • No killing here, but the Mayor said that Drix is only temporary.

Mayor Phlegming: Son, do me a favor and read what it says on your arm.
Drix: 'For the temporary relief of symptoms associated with... '
Mayor Phlegming: Exactly! Temporary. You're nothing but a wannabe, a placebo, a generic brand. Marked-down, over-the-counter, useless Tic-Tac! Now, get out of MY BODY!

    • Thrax burns his thugs alive once they become a hindrance.

Thrax: Medical books aren't written about losers!