'The Watch': Is 'The Watch' The Most Unfortunately Timed Movie Of The Year?

07/26/2012 06:25 pm ET | Updated Sep 25, 2012
  • Mike Ryan Senior Entertainment Writer, The Huffington Post

the watch

This weekend, a mildly funny movie with unfortunate timing starring Ben Stiller (Permanent Midnight) will be released into theaters. Once called Neighborhood Watch, it was renamed The Watch after the Trayvon Martin shooting. Now, with gun violence back in the news, well, again, this movie has very unfortunate timing. As always, we ask and answer every question that you could possibly have about The Watch.

Q: Who are the team members of the neighborhood watch?

A: The neighborhood watch team consists of Evan (Stiller), Bob (Vince Vaughn), Frank (Jonah Hill) and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade).

Q: Is this an already established organization when the movie begins?

A: No. An overnight security guard is brutally murdered (as we find out later, by an alien) at a Costco in Mayfield, OH. Evan, who is the manager of this particular Costco, puts up flyers in the attempt to organize a neighborhood watch team with the primary purpose of catching the killer. Bob, Frank and Jamarcus are the only other people who show up to the meeting.

Q: How brutal of a murder?

A: The security guard's skin is missing.

Q: Why isn't the local police force handling the murder investigation?

A: They are, but the local police force -- headed by Sgt. Bressman (Will Forte) -- are of the "bumbling" variety.

Q: Do the four members of the neighborhood watch all become fast friends?

A: No, because their personalities greatly differ. Evan is uptight and loves creating clubs, Bob is load and outspoken, Frank is awkward and a bit of a delinquent, Jamarcus seems to be involved to fulfill a sexual fantasy that he describes in detail.

Q: In that last answer, could you have just written, "Stiller, Vaughn and Hill play versions of characters they always seem to play"?

A: Yes. But, in this case, that's not really a terrible thing since their interaction is the best thing about the movie.

Q: When does the neighborhood watch realize that aliens are involved?

A: Evan, distracted by singing along to Bachman-Turner Overdrive's (or, BTO, for those in the know) "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," accidentally hits one with his SUV -- which leaves residue that is assumed to be an octopus. Though, in the process, the four find a very destructive alien weapon.

Q: Is that the band that recorded "If You Leave."

A: No, you're thinking of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Or, OMD, for those in the know.)

Q: Is The Watch a terrible title for a movie?

A: Yes. But, to be fair, the team members of the neighborhood watch do often refer to themselves as "The Watch."

Q: Due to similar circumstances, how many days away are we from Gangster Squad being renamed The Squad.

A: Five.

Q: Why are the aliens on Earth?

A: In the end, to overtake it. But, during the course of this movie, their primary mission is to send a signal into space that will bring more aliens to Earth.

Q: Wait, that sounds familiar.

A: It was also the plot of The Avengers, which was released less than three months ago.

Q: It seems even more familiar than that.

A: It was also the plot of Battleship, which was released less than three months ago.

Q: Because of current events, are there any scenes during The Watch in which the audience was noticeably taken out of the movie?

A: Most of the film involves gunfire from one source or another. Though, there's a scene, played for laughs, in which Evan -- while wearing a shirt that reads "murders" with a circle and a slash through it -- gives a speech at halftime of a high school football game. It's ... uncomfortable. (Again, I repeat, this movie just has unfortunate timing in every way.)

Q: Does The Watch make any sense whatsoever?

A: As a story, at times, very little. Most noticeably: A character seems to switch allegiances without any real explanation.

Q: Did you laugh during The Watch?

A: A few times.

Q: What's the best thing about The Watch?

A: The Watch works when it lets Stiller, Vaughn and Hill just be Stiller, Vaughn and Hill. This is an R-rated comedy and the three of them seem to be having quite a bit of fun with that -- especially Vaughn.

Q: What's the second best thing about The Watch?

A: Billy Crudup and, as always, Will Forte.

Q: At any point during The Watch does Will Forte stick a piece of celery in his ass?

A: Sadly, no.

Q: Should I see The Watch?

A: I wish there were a button on my computer that I could push and it would let you know that I'm shrugging my shoulders while grimacing. So, probably not. But there are some decent laughs in there, I guess.

Q: What's the hackiest pull quote that you can come up with for The Watch?

A: "You might not want to watch ... The Watch."

Q: I feel that you can go hackier than that.

A: "You might be checking your watch during ... The Watch."

Q: One more try.

A: "Watch out, or The Watch will be watching you.

Q: I'm fairly certain that last one doesn't make sense.

A: Maybe read it again, only use the Bane voice.

Q: You've officially run out of fake questions and answers for this movie, haven't you?

A: Yes.

Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. He likes Star Wars a lot. You can contact him directly on Twitter.