What happens when you let four sub-par comedians off script and attempt a sci-fi comedy? The Watch answers the question no one asked.
Title: The Watch
Cast and Crew
Directed by Akiva Schaffer
Written by Jared Stern, Seth Rogan, and Evan Goldburg
Ben Stiller as Evan
Vince Vaughn as Bob
Jonah Hill as Franklin
Richard Ayoade as Jamarcus
Aliens invade suburbia because they want to destroy the Earth. Because that’s what aliens do.
Maybe it’s because I’m a middle-aged suburbanite but the Costco-related humor struck me as the funniest stuff in the film. Or maybe because it was the only phallic-, sex-, or excrement-free humor in the film. “Costco is for members only” was about the only line that gave me a genuine laugh.
There’s something disturbing about watching guys in their forties engage in a race for the bottom like they’re thirteen and just discovered “dirty words.” I’m far from a prude (I own American Pie and love it), but there’s a callous profaneness about this film (much like the works of Matt Stone and Trey Parker) that thinks it’s funny because people laugh when they’re uncomfortable. The filmmakers make the juvenile mistake of taking something that’s moderately funny and dragging it out for way too long so the initial humor is completely lost and the audience is bored, frustrated, or just plain offended.
Originality: Aliens invade suburbia and only a few shlubs notice and do anything about it. 1/6
Effects: The guy in the rubber suit is decently done, but clearly on a budget. 3/6
Story: It’s a minimal framework for injecting a loosely chained set of scenes until we get to the “big finish.” The plot has about as many twists and turns as a Nebraska highway. 2/6
Production: The alien lair clearly ate up a good portion of the budget (outside the actors’ salaries). 3/6
Acting: Stiller, Vaughn, and Hill are playing the same characters they always play. So you’d think they’d be better at it. 2/6
Emotional Response: I finished the film, only out of morbid curiosity, not because I wanted to. 1/6
Overall: Clearly, the producers and director want to duplicate the magic of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, but have to revert on middle school humor when their vocabulary of the genre (and their vocabulary in general) falls miserably short. 1/6
Total: 13 out of 42
The film was originally titled The Neighborhood Watch but was retitled after the Treyvon Martin shooting.