Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade sounds like a comedy dream team but we all know that having too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil a meal. Individually they’ve all had some stellar moments but not even an alien invasion can save audiences from the idiotic ramblings of the neighborhood watch.
Costco manager Evan Trautwig (Ben Stiller) decides to take the law into his own hands when one of his workers is brutally murdered and forms a local neighborhood watch group. Despite his friendly and helpful demeanor, the only other people to join the task force are the thrill-seeking man child, Bob (Vince Vaughn), the failed wannabe cop, Franklin (Jonah Hill), and the awkward Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade). In search of the murderer, the group stumbles upon an alien invasion that could wipe out the world.
The Watch relies heavily on lewd dick jokes and crass humor that doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s a constant race between the actors to see who can get off the most jokes the fastest. In the end it’s Vaughn who delivers the most comical performance, but honestly, that’s not saying much. There’s simply not enough substance to the film. It’s four guys drinking and fooling around with aliens thrown in for good measure, not to mention an absurd plot twist about halfway into the movie that comes straight out of left field.
There are a few laugh-out-loud moments in The Watch, however. Bob shines best when he attempts to handle his teenage daughter; meanwhile Evan comes to terms with the fact that he’s the only one who cares even the slightest about actually watching the neighborhood for crime. Franklin’s mental instability play’s well to Jonah Hill’s strengths in the film and Richard Ayoade embraces his British charm for some memorable scenes.
Overall, The Watch struggles with its humor in a time when more sophisticated comedies such as Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and The Five-Year Engagement outshine their competitors. Keep the crude antics to talking stuffed teddy bears.
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