The Watch is one bad movie. So bad, that one of the main reviews Yahoo Movies currently links to asks the question, "How can so much talent turn out such incredible crap?"
That's easy. Look at 90% of the movies released today. They're either takes on superheroes or takes on Superbad. And, it's usually the same bunch of fraternity brothers responsible for most of the shlock being shoved down our eager throats like we're hungry baby birds waiting for our usual diet of mundane, mediocre, one-liners stuffed with 90 pages of filler. "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"
Whether it's a cross-dressing Adam Sandler, the Stiller/Wilson/Vaughn trio, or the Apatow alumni, it's obvious the studios couldn't give a hoot what the script is, as long as it opens mildly strong. After that, who gives a damn?
Factor in the action side, i.e., Battleship, John Carter, etc., and it adds more fuel to the fire, as, at least nothing those lovable court jesters do ever costs $300 million. And, speaking of $300 million, as clever as they are, it's truly sad that, for the most part, the only major studio movies really worth seeing lately are animated ones.
Not everyone's a winner, but most animated movies released today have a much better track record than your average buddy comedy. They're smart, funny, contain a few unexpected twists, and manage to weave a poignant message or two into their surprisingly simple plot lines. Trouble is, they're cartoons. Where's the stuff for the post-puberty demographic?
I don't know about you, but, I for one, am way tired of seeing the same megastars cranking out the same mega-junk, almost as if they're all in on this decade-long con, and, we, the movie-going public, are their unwitting marks.
Seeing a movie as bad as The Watch and thinking "What, exactly could have possibly motivated these comedic giants into making this piece of crap?" reminds me of the scene in The Hudsucker Proxy where Paul Newman, Tim Robbins, and the entire board room erupt in fits of hysterics at duping 'The Street' with their crappy products.
What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall at Fox or Universal or Paramount when two or more of these overused, overmarketed superstars come in for a pitch. I Imagine it goes something like this:
Executive: Hey, guys. Whaddya got?
Famous Comedian 1: Nothing. We'd just like to work together. Again.
Executive: Great. Let's do it. Pre-production starts tomorrow. If you can have at least a few pages by the time we start shooting, that would be great.
Famous Comedian 2: Well, we do have a great idea for the poster.
Executive: Perfect. This is gonna be huge.
Ultimately, isn't that what it always comes down to? The script. Or, lack of one. If it ain't funny on the page, odds are, it ain't gonna be funny on screen. Unfortunately, for those of us who don't enjoy paying 50 bucks to watch Adam Sandler act like the same idiot on a different day, the script is the last thing these studios think about when deciding on whether or not to make a movie. That goes for television, too. All you need is a hot star or director to convince a studio to greenlight a concept that forces everyone involved to live out an eight-month-long episode of The Emperor's New Clothes.
For a studio, a bad movie is like a bad vacation. You spent so much money on it, the last thing you want to do is tell everyone it sucked. The sad part is, nothing I'm saying here is news. It's all common knowledge. I just had to say something, as it was the only way I could think to justify, in some small way, blowing close to fifty bucks to have my intelligence insulted. Again.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then I'm bat-shit crazy, as I keep waiting for Stiller to make another funny movie. And, I don't mean Meet the Fockers 5.
I actually wish The Watch would've cost $300 million. Then, I could've at least left saying, "Well, at least the special effects were good."
It's movies like these that make YouTube vids like this ring true.
Follow David Fagin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nikchapman