Review: The Watch / Cert: 15 / Director: Akiva Schaffer / Screenplay: Jared Stern, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg / Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade / Release Date: Out Now
Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn team up again for sci-fi comedy The Watch, this time joined by new blood Jonah Hill and the UK’s own Richard Ayoade of IT Crowd and Mighty Boosh fame. Stiller plays neighbourhood stalwart Evan, a well-meaning Costco manager who escapes his boredom and failure to fulfil his wife’s needs by starting local clubs. After one of his employees is brutally murdered, he proposes a neighbourhood watch that is joined by three neighbourhood men, party-loving Bob (Vaughn), psychotic Franklin (Hill) and geeky Jamarcus (Ayoade).
They quickly become a local joke as they spend their nights drinking beer and haphazardly curbing small-time mischief, until they realise an alien invasion is imminent and they must up their game. It’s a simple premise good enough for a comedy, with a couple of sub-plots thrown in to keep the film going.
As expected with this kind of film, there are many quotable lines where the comedy mainly derives from, and a few moments of slapstick and gore. While it’s not the most intelligent of comedies it is standard popcorn fare and delivers to sensible expectations, although the film is directed by The Lonely Island’s Akiva Chaffer (who cameos with his comedy troupe) and co-written by Seth Rogen, so a knowledgeable comedy fan might be expecting a lot more funny.
The film is let down slightly by a couple of obvious twists but all the main guys put in good performances and mix well. There is an impressive list of co-stars too, including Billy Crudup as Evan’s creepy new neighbour, R Lee Ermey playing a retired colonel (what else?), Rosemarie DeWitt as Evan’s wife and Will Forte as the hopeless local sergeant.
A Men In Black for the Judd Apatow generation.
Expected Rating: 7 out of 10