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The Watch


The Watch poster

For comedies nowadays there seems to be two groups that aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. We have the Judd Apatow group with Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and co. Then we have Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Ben Stiller, and their cronies—the old guard, if you will. Sometimes, these groups mix, as is the case with The Watch. No matter the combinations, it seems these guys still play the same roles.

Grade:

D-

Evan (Stiller) creates a neighborhood watch group after the security guard at his Costco is viciously murdered. He is joined by overprotective father Bob (Vince Vaughn), high school dropout Franklin (Jonah Hill), and new guy in the area Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade). When it turns out to be aliens killing people, shit gets real.

Sadly (and I mean that in more ways than one), the only interesting part about The Watch is the complete 180 pulled by marketing. Originally billed as The Neighborhood Watch, with trailers focusing on the guy time allowed by the club, the advertising team was forced to change tactics after the Trayvon Martin debacle dominated the airwaves. So, instead, the film’s name shortened and the trailers focused more on the alien aspect of the film. This isn’t the first time social events disrupted the advertising campaign for a film, and it won’t be the last.

The-Watch1

In any case, this dichotomous marketing eventually symbolized the fractured nature of the film. The real purpose, or theme, of The Watch is never made apparent. At first, clubs about community outreach and the sense of togetherness they provide is the main point, but then it’s about family and one man’s (Evan) inability to communicate with his wife. Finally, it’s about just fighting aliens. It’s confusing and disengaging.

With regard to the introduction, these top-billed guys, particularly Stiller and Vaughn, have utilized the same traits in their roles and done so many films that their cameos are actually better than any leading roles (e.g. Stiller’s return as Tony Wonder on Arrested Development). Stiller’s beginning of The Watch had shades of Tony Perkis from Heavy Weights or White Goodman in Dodgeball, but the hilarity of those two characters did not manifest in Evan.

THE WATCH

Meanwhile, Jonah Hill is mostly annoying here. He doesn’t provide any humor and seems like he was drunk for most of his scenes. Thankfully, and mercifully, Ayoade is a fresh face with unique comedic timing. Some have seen him in The IT Crowd, but I think this is his first introduction to the American crowd. I’m hoping he continues making the crossover because he was literally the only source of laughs for The Watch.

Final verdict: don’t bother. Will Forte and Billy Crudup round out the cast with incredibly annoying and bizarre roles, respectively, to make the whole thing a complete mess. Ayoade and some awesome alien makeup/costumes save it from the depths of F-movies, but not by much.

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    • Tina
    • June 10th, 2013

    I actually found this movie entertaining haha

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