The Watch is one of these comedies that rely more on name value then actual humor. Akiva Schaffer who as a lot of people knows is part of the musical act The Lonely Islands, and also has been the director of the digital shorts on SNL and also Hot Rod, so his resume is mixed at best. Then, you have Ben Stiller who seems in the last 15 years to play almost the same role film to film. (Though, Greenberg is a very good film) If you have seen Fockers or Night at the Museum, you can almost guess the role and his mannerisms and even dialogue in this film. Jonah Hill who has fell into that category that with the weight loss the lack of the humor we once liked from them is gone as well. Then you have Vince Vaughn who is another actor that at one time had so much going for him, and seems to now wonder into these dopey non funny roles and just drains all the fun and excitement with his dry dead in the water humor. The Watch takes place in a town in Ohio that is called Glenview, that at the start of the film Ben Stiller narrates to us that this is such a great community and town. Ben plays Evan, who is the manager of the local Costco who one night when he leaves his store, the night watchman is killed by an alien.
Well, Evan decides to form a neighborhood watch to find out what happened and how he was killed. The Watch tries so hard to give people familiarity with the main stars and their characters, that they have traces of what kept them in these sorts of films. This film had moments of hilarity, not from the actors or their dialogue but mainly the situations they are in. This just feels like one of those films that relied more on the actorâ€™s names, then their actual talent. It just seems with most of the talent, the role is overkill and they are just not really into the role and just going thru the numbers. The film was originally called Neighborhood Watch, and I remember the first actual trailer it did not paint this picture and seemed like it was going in a different route. I think all the controversy and backlash they got about the Trayvon Martin case; they had to re-do this film after they already started filming it. In Jonah Hillâ€™s defense, this film was better than The Sitter. I would say the same about Vince Vaughn, but I have not watched any of his films since Anchorman, so I am not sure as to what his resume has on it these days. In a way this feels like a Men in Black film, you got the looming Alien invasion and anyone can be an alien. They did not have the weapons or ride, but they tried to incorporate humor in almost every scene, and even when it bombed they did not realize it, and tried to keep the failed humor still going. I look at the ingredients for this film, you have three people who get serious box office grosses for anything they are in and a British actor who has a huge following in America. On paper this just seems like a canâ€™t miss, but on the screen it is a miss.
This film is not an all-out total loss, it has some moments here and there that are ok to a point. But, there are so many better comedies these days, but this one just upset me because Akiva is so super talented when he puts his heart and mind into something, and I do not want to dislike the actors involved in this film, but with most of them it is just the same old script over and over, and same old stuff. This could be a rental, if you are bored.
4 out of 10