- Director: Akiva Schaffer
- Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi
- Details: US/ 102 / 15A
A few years ago Judd Apatow redefined the "R-Rated" comedy (a 16 cert here) by using talented comedic actors and allowing them to improvise heavily. The resulting films he directed and produced created new stars and a new way of making funny on film. Here, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn struggle to inject life into a silly, overstuffed sci-fi comedy in a similar way that Paul Rudd did with Wanderlust. Just putting funny people in your movie will not make it funny and The Watch is another prime example of that.
Stiller is a pedantic sort who lives a reserved existence in a quiet Middle American suburb. He busies himself with retail management job, attempting to make a baby with his understanding wife and creating numerous community clubs. When one of his employees is brutally murdered he starts a neighbourhood watch programme, which attracts Vince Vaughn's boisterous construction worker, Jonah Hill's possible sociopath and Richard Ayoade's awkward Brit. Just as the lads are beginning to enjoy the volunteer gig, they realise they're in the midst of an alien invasion.
Balancing tone in a genre hybrid is always difficult and despite the big name cast and high concept The Watch struggles to do either the comedy or the sci-fi justice. There is no real good role here for anyone, and director Schaffer isn't really sure what kind of movie he's making so just lets the a-listers run riot. Stiller at least gets that he's the straight man, while Vaughn tries to go back to scene-stealing supporting actor territory after a couple of poor starring roles; ostensibly a wise move from Vaughn, he's played this guy better in Wedding Crashers and Old School. Hill seems to be challenging Seth Rogen's underrated work in Observe and Report while Ayoade's deadpan delivery is sporadically funny but feels like it's from a different movie.
Coming from a comedic director with some pedigree (Schaffer is one third of comedy group The Lonely Island), it's a possibility that some very good gags ended up on the cutting room floor. Or it's possible that the material wasn't there to begin with and one big name in the cast attracted the other talent and collectively they attempted to shine a turd. Either way it doesn't work and is rarely funny.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 12:03 | Friday 24th August 2012 | Movie Review
cant wait to see this movie looks class!!!!!!!!!!:LPosted 03:47 | Wed 15th Aug 2012
Hmm... The Metro Herald mentioned that there were no laughs at all at the press screening of The Watch. However, it seemed to go down well with the Friday night audience I was with. They were certainly laughing, along with myself. OK, the gags were hit-and-miss, but I enjoyed it.Posted 14:00 | Sat 25th Aug 2012
Ignore the above review, this movie is very funny and worth going to see. But what can you expect from a critic who loved The Dark Knight Rises which was an insult to my intelligence.Posted 13:40 | Tue 28th Aug 2012
The Watch is great and The Dark Knight Rises is an insult to your intelligence? I want what you had for lunch, love.Posted 13:47 | Tue 28th Aug 2012
it is fantasticPosted 17:28 | Thu 30th Aug 2012
This movie is so funny, Ignore that star rating, it deserves much higher!Posted 19:14 | Thu 6th Sep 2012
The Watch is fine if you are simple, you dont want to be challanged and you somehow havent tired of the ridicuous Ben Stiller. Ive been to movies where people laugh at the dumbest scenes and you just sit there wondering "these people have to be on crack" or something. This is one of these movies. If you liked it, quite simply you are an idiot.Posted 21:48 | Thu 13th Sep 2012
Going through the motions of making a comedy without any actual comedy. Stiller, Hill and Vaughan show up doing their usual shtick with Ayoade (the fish out of water nerd) providing the only glimmer of hope for this otherwise by the numbers comedy. The laughs are as sparse as the actual story which seems to have just been fashioned out of a fairly weak premise in the first place. Looks rushed, lacking in ideas or a decent script which it badly needed to carry the performances and storyline. Should have gone straight to DVDPosted 13:18 | Wed 19th Sep 2012
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