In The Watch one of Evan’s (Ben Stiller) Costco employees is murdered and he decides to take action.
Forming a Neighbourhood Watch with fellow suburbanites Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, The Watch becomes embroiled in a mystery that goes far beyond their own backyards, deep into the galaxy. Once again, however, there can be only one question that matters; is it funny?
We say, no.
HOWE: The Watch is like an episode of Scooby Doo meets the Hardy Boys sci-fi murder mystery comedy, that left me a little deflated.
TAYLOR: I might add teenage sex romp to the mix. This one didn’t really work for me either. I’m a fan of director Akiva Schaffer’s work, Hot Rod is silly and hilarious, his Digital Shorts on Saturday Night Live have often made me laugh, this film did not. I don’t have a problem with raunchiness, or even juvenile comedy, but The Watch just isn’t that funny. Like many comedies these days, it seemed to be a premise built story where the dialogue was more or less made up by the talent involved. In this endeavor, they fell short.
HOWE: I thought the idea for the story was interesting. A comedy coupled with aliens, it should of been outta this world, but The Watch turns out to be just a limp squid of a movie.
TAYLOR: It was a shame really, because I loved the premise. The Watch could have been a great movie, it gets bogged down in disfunction, which is sad, rather than error, which is funny.
HOWE: I found myself laughing twice and that’s not a lot for a comedy with this amount of talent involved. Stiller, Vaughn and Hill all play themselves, like they do in all their movies, so we know what to expect. I did enjoy Richard Ayoade as Jamarcus, he was the only one who made me laugh. What he brought to the table was an aire of class to the neighbourhood watch group.
TAYLOR: You’re just saying that because he’s British. If they wanted to have a hit with this film, they should have aimed for the 14 year old. As it is, with all the foul language and sexuality, they get an R rating. This will be the film’s undoing.
HOWE: Yeah, the swearing annoyed me. It doesn’t bother me if it is done tastefully but this isn’t, they just drop the “f” bomb way too much and it seems out of place. Stiller has one line at the end of the movie that sums it up perfectly, “Costco really does have everything under one roof.” I would just add, “except for some jokes.”
Howe gives The Watch 1.5 packs of batteries out of five. Taylor gives it two finger holes out of five.
Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie reviewers from the Okanagan.