Running Time: 101 minutes
Starring: Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn, Richard Ayoade, Will Forte
Directed By: Akiva Schaffer
Rating 2.5 out of 10
A group of guys form a neighborhood watch to fight crime but aliens are more of a concern.
When you see a trailer advertised way too much you know it isn’t a good sign. This trailer has been forced on us like an avalanche. It has all the funny bits (cough) of the film in the trailer so I hope this review saves you a couple of bucks so you don’t see this film in theatre. The trailer should have said please don’t watch this film for any reason. Now I am reiterating that by saying please don’t watch this film for any reason. The Watch is a movie based in suburban Ohio. After a gruesome murder, Evan a local resident decides to start a neighborhood watch to prevent crime. He and a ragtag bunch of guys patrol the streets trying to stop criminals but end up having to battle aliens for their town and maybe the world’s survival.
I thought it would be a while before I saw a comedy that was as bad as Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy, but Hollywood never disappoints. It turns out I only had to wait a month for another fecal comedy. The Watch is a comedy without any comedy. It was such a bad film I am having trouble reviewing it. The film starts off with a quick introduction to Evan and his neighborhood watch team. Of course they are an eclectic group of men, with varying personalities that have to mesh together somehow to fight crime. It occurred to me about half way through this film that I hadn’t laughed even once. I was worried my face was going to be left with a permanent frown after viewing this flick. They try joke after joke in this film but nothing works. I found the comedy, and would be jokes to be written for a PG-13 audience, but infused with lots of swear words and sexual references to make it adult. The result is as expected, which is lifeless and humor free. The story is nothing new and not compelling in the slightest. In fact because this watch team is so terrible you actually start pulling for the aliens to win at the end of this film. I can count the funny scenes in this movie on one hand. A decent scene of the watch taking a picture montage with a dead alien is quickly forgotten by the time the next unfunny scene rolled around. And that was the status quo for the whole film.
This film was clearly banking on its strong comedic cast to win over its audience, and it is a failing grade across the board for the lot of them. Evan played by Ben Stiller was easily the worst of the group. He plays a middle aged suburban dad and if you think you have seen this role before...you have. The awkward, bumbling, straight man routine is basically Greg Focker from Meet the Parents. He is awful and had no chemistry with anyone in the watch. Bob played by Vince Vaughn is a married dad looking to unwind, and he shows none of his famous quips that have made him a star. In fact I cannot remember anything funny that he did in this film. Franklin played by Jonah Hill is the young renegade in the group and he consistently missed with this role. Although he is the best of the bunch it is not saying much. A scene where he interrogates a skater kid with Ben Stiller is so bad I wanted to rewatch Superbad just to remember he can be great. Lastly is Jamarcus played by Richard Ayoade, who is the quiet British guy of the group. He is a new fresh face for comedy and he was remarkably ordinary in this film. He offered nothing to make me want to see him in another film. This group of actors was terrible together and terrible when by themselves.
The film drags along with NWA songs blaring in the background but fails to keep you interested. It is as if they knew this film wasn’t working so over the top scenes of things blowing up, and orgies are inserted with little care or thought to the story. The only really nice thing I have to say about the film was the aliens were well designed, and well thought up. When the watch engages the aliens in a few fight scenes they were neat and well put together. At the end of the day though this is supposed to be a comedy and when the end finally comes around you will breathe a sigh of relief that it is done. Unless you like copious amounts of stupid Costco jokes then this movie should be a pass.
Director Akiva Schaffer got his second shot with this film after a solid debut with Hot Rod. He did absolutely nothing with this movie though. He has a great cast, and a neat story, so it could have worked but the result was just miserable. He literally put together a comedy that had almost no laughs and that is hard to do. This film had jokes for young teens but speech for adults, it was very strange. This film easily could take worst of the year for comedies.
I cannot recommend this film. E.T stands for extraterrestrial but for this film it stands for extra terrible. This is truly a baffling film that can be passed on.
T Factor + If you like Ben Stiller as an actor then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you do not like overt sexual jokes then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations is: Evolution, Paul