Synopsis – Four men who form a neighbourhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day family routines find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion – The Watch.
Director – Akiva Schaffer
Starring – Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Billy Crudup, Richard Ayoade
Released – 2012
For fans of – Date Night, Games Night, Forgetting Sarah Marshal
The Watch is one of those comedies that seem unsure of its tone and relies too heavily on its cast’s abilities without backing them up with quality writing. Proving once again that combining a group of funny actors may seem like a good idea, but doesn’t always translate into a successful movie and in this case, one that works in a rather disorganized manner, which is probably due to the studio’s decision to change the film from one aimed at kids into one for an older audience, meaning you end up with crude humour shoehorned into the story seemingly at random.
Some of my favourite comedies starring these actors are ones where they have strayed away from the stereotypical, sadly however The Watch isn’t a movie brave enough to subvert expectations. Ben Stiller is once again laying the hapless good guy trying to do right, Vince Vaughn is a loud, obnoxious man-child, and Jonah Hill is a rejected police officer/mothers boy with emotional stability issues and while they do manage to squeeze some laughs and chuckles here and there, it’s only Richard Ayoade, who delivers most of the funniest one-liners and the only memorable character.
All of this doesn’t mean The Watch is a bad movie, it has a pretty interesting central idea about a hapless group of emasculated men forming a neighbourhood watch, only to come up again aliens, plus the main cast do their best to make the writing work. The movie just fails to turn this interesting idea and the skill of the actors into something more than a run-of-the-mill comedy that maybe would’ve worked better as a kids’ film without the R-rated aspects.