The Watch is one of those films that can really make a person think odd things. That might not sound strange considering that the film revolves around aliens invading and doing battle with a neighborhood watch group made up of perhaps not the most qualified combatants. But, I’m talking about other strange thoughts.
Though there likely exists a wide spectrum of things that might jump to mind after viewing The Watch, I’m thinking of wanderings of the mind along the lines of, if Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill all got together and had Costco put up the money, at what point does the possibility of keeping a film out of production actually come into play? If we add in that Seth Rogen gets a writing credit (which may or may not ultimately come down to the fact that he told a joke in a bar once), was there really a shot at avoiding this film?
Don’t worry, I won’t force you to answer those questions.
The story centers around Evan (Stiller), a man in love with his neighborhood and addicted to starting clubs and groups which take up his time, thus leaving him without opportunity to face up to his wife and confront the fact that he’s the reason they aren’t getting pregnant. Whoops, I gave things away there.
Evan is also the manager of the local Costco, and when his night watchman is murdered on the job, and in a particularly gruesome way, Evan takes it rather hard. He decides to start a neighborhood watch, but the applicants aren’t exactly the cream of the crop. Bob (Vaughn) is really only interested in an excuse to get together with some guys for a night away from the house, and Franklin (Hill) is disgruntled that the real police turned him down, and he has a lot of guns under his bed. Rounding out the crew, Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) is a Brit unknown who is new to the neighborhood and looking for ways to be involved.
Our clueless crew sets out to… spend a fair amount of time acting like their doing something, but Bob nips this in the bud pretty quickly, because he has a decked out man cave, and little interest in staking out the scene of the crime hoping that the murderer returns just because we have no other ideas. It isn’t long before the boys stumble onto odd events, and, as we saw in the trailer, find and kill an actual alien. Now it’s up to this group of misfits to somehow save the world, and the script will tell you, hilarity ensues.
You may be thinking that I wrote this movie off as a lost cause before it even started, but that isn’t the case. The problem is that it just isn’t funny. Sure, there are a few decent moments, mostly by way of Richard Ayoade’s character, which anyone might have guessed if they’re familiar with him, but overall there isn’t anything to hang your hat on here. It’s a bunch of gags that had us cracking up when we were drunk that one night throwing out ideas, and they’re tacked together with such formulaic fashion that the film itself rolls its eyes at certain points.
Unless you’re looking for something just to kill time with a laugh here and there, and ludicrous situations that are far more humorous in theory than actual delivery, this one is a pass. The main fun connected with The Watch came in making it, which I bet was one hell of a time, but that doesn’t deliver as much to audiences as some apparently think it does.
Of course, for huge fans of the stars, it’s likely worth a view just for the odd moment of craziness. As I said, it does have a scene here or there that provides some laughs. That said, the special features are probably worth watching as well. If there was ever a film to give you something worthwhile in a gag reel or deleted scenes, this is it. The rest of the bonuses are pretty well throwaways. Short featurettes that showcase behind-the-scenes points, and/or put forward almost mockumentary efforts, like Alien Invasions & You.
It would have been nice if the film could have solidified a theory it was working on, rather than just becoming a collection of SNL skits sewn together without a lot of thought (credit director Akiva Schaffer there). There are hints of something a lot more fun in here, perhaps throwing back to films that really run with their silliness, like Abbott and Costello, but this one is ultimately going in a lot of directions and doesn’t deliver the laughs.
The Watch Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade take male bonding to hilarious new heights in this outrageous, no-holds-barred comedy that gets funnier every time you watch! There’s trouble brewing in peaceful Glenview, Ohio. That’s why four civic-minded citizens, armed with flashlights, walkie-talkies and spiffy new jackets, have teamed up to safeguard their community. But the guys find more than they bargained for when they uncover an alien plot to destroy Earth, and now these bumbling heroes are Glenview’s only chance to save the neighborhood – and the world – from annihilation.
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Alien Invasions & You
- Casting the Alien
- Theatrical Trailer
- Sneak Peek Blu-ray
- Jonah Alternate Takes
- Digital Copy