The Watch – 101Min – R
I so wanted this movie to be good, it has some really talented actors in it but unfortunately it fell flat. I was hoping that a great alien comedy in the style of Shaun of the Dead was on its way and it turns out to be more of a long infomercial for Costco from the Sci Fi channel. The main problem was that the trailer takes all of the wind out of the funny parts of the movie. I appreciated some aspects of the movie but overall it’s not worth the time it takes to get to them. In hoping that this movie was at least a yellow light it disappointedly falls squarely into the Red light category. Too bad movies don’t have as flexible a return policy as Costco does, because they need their money back. No questions asked.
Evan (Ben Stiller) is a manager of the local Costco. He spends his time making sure that his life is full of activities because he incredibly involved with his community. One of his employees dies a gruesome death and he now makes it his personal mission to find the killer. He organizes a neighborhood watch and gets three other interested parties. Franklin (Jonah Hill) a police academy wash out, Bob (Vince Vaughn) a mostly single dad who has a kick-ass man cave and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) the token black guy in Evans personal goal of having one of every race as a friend.
They set about looking for the killer and uncover an alien plot to build a transmitter under the Costco and bring in an invasion force. The boys work together to stop the invasion and still work on personal issues in their lives.
The movie falls short on delivering one clear story. The characters are fighting the huge invasion and also distracted by their own lives. The time it takes to fully develop the secondary stories takes away from the main plot line and doesn’t give us any insight into the motivations of the characters, which I think is the only reason they were added.
Akiva Schaffer has made me laugh with his work on SNL and other projects but this one somehow seems to be lost in its own need to belabor the story with long stretches to get from one funny bit to another. The funny parts don’t string together in a way that tells a good story.
Richard Ayoade is one of the funnies actors I have seen in a long time, he has an excellent grasp of the straight man and his comedic timing is spot on. Vince Vaughn is doing what he does best being the loud guy that has no filter to check to see if he should be saying what he is saying. This time they added some personality to him as a caring father and it works really well. He is loud rude and a bull in the verbal china shop but it plays well.
Ben Stiller seems to be just walking through the parts and not focused, he lost his stride on the string of Focker movies and has not gotten it back yet. Jonah Hill does not do anything new, he has an edgy character but he only delivers the lines like he did on every other character he has played.
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Evan is not a likable character, he is keeping from his wife that he is sterile. She is trying everything to make sure they have a baby and he keeps her in the dark. Bob is right that he needs to tell her but this subplot does nothing for the story other than paint Evan as a jerk.
Bobs relationship with his daughter was great, dysfunctional but great. It worked for the character and made Bob’s brashness bearable because his heart was in the right place.
The guest appearance by the Lonely Island crew was funny and again they are obsessed with their dicks. I should have known that as the director of this movie, Akiva would have made the penis the weak point of the aliens. I have never been a fan of dick jokes, and if you are going to use them at least make them witty.
What do you want from a comedy? What movie have you wanted to be good and it turn out not to be.