By all reason The Watch should be one of the brightest comedies of the summer. It stars big name comic actors Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill. The script was written by Evan Goldberg, Jared Stern and Seth Rogen. The director is Akiva Schaffer of Saturday Night Live fame. What more could you ask? Well, obviously a lot. The Watch is almost unwatchable in that it is boring, silly and rarely funny.
The movie got off to a rough start with its original title of Neighborhood Watch. The Trayvon Martin shooting rendered that inappropriate so the title was shortened to The Watch. Assurances were issued that the film had nothing to do with organizations such as the one to which George Zimmerman belonged.
Now the movie has arrived and it is discovered by audiences that this is a movie about aliens, not the E. T. kind but rather ones that kill and skin their victims. Evan (Stiller) is the manager of a Costco store. His night watchman is the first victim of these killings. He organizes a volunteer neighborhood watch group and the only people who show up are Bob (Vaughn), Franklin (Hill) and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade).
These four stake out the Costco at night and soon find out there are aliens causing the trouble. At this point the movie goes completely downhill and fails to make any sense whatsoever. We have the alien plot, another plot concerning Bob's daughter Chelsea (Erin Moriarty), and a third one concerning Evan's inability to conceive a child with his wife Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt). Not one of these plots is funny and not one of them is interesting.
Plus the movie always goes for the lowest common level of humor. The writers seem to think if it is dirty it is funny. Not so. Humor of any kind has to be funny first. Stiller and Vaughn should know this as they have had movies that were funny and were successful. Hill has shown how funny he can be in 21 Jump Street and he also showed his dramatic side in Moneyball. This man can act! You couldn't prove it by his performance in this movie.
The film is rated R for profanity, violence and sexual situations.
When you have a movie with Stiller, Vaughn and Hill you expect some good if not great fun to occur on screen. The Watch is the exception -- all the talents of these three men cannot save the film. They are caught up in the tide of nothingness and swept out to sea.
I scored The Watch an unwatchable 3 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper