Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn return to familiar territory in The Watch. The actors, who’ve co-starred in several films including 2004′s Dodgeball are back for another juvenile comedy. The film is directed by Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod) and centers on a group of unsuspecting members of a local neighborhood watch.
- Director: Akiva Schaffer
- Writers: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jared Stern
- Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt, Will Forte, Erin Moriarty, Billy Crudup, Doug Jones
- Director of Photography: Barry Peterson
- Music: Christophe Beck
In the Ohio suburb of Glenview, Evan (Stiller), Bob (Vaughn) Franklin (Hill) and Jamarcus (Ayoade) become founding members of their neighborhood watch. After the death of a local Costco security guard, they spring into action to protect citizens from a looming threat. Unfortunately, they get more than they bargained for when they stumble across an alien invasion.
- Doug Jones: Jones is the go-to guy for movie creatures. His slender frame allows him to transform into any monster (in this case an alien), using practical effects. He adds realistic movement and emotion to characters who would be otherwise vacant.
- The Comedy: It’s hard to believe that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg co-wrote this film. It’s described as a comedy but the laughs are few and far between. The Watch is nowhere near the level of its predecessors Superbad or Pineapple Express. It has all the necessary pieces, but the execution is off. The jokes come across as forced and formulaic, which is a waste considering the talented cast.
- The Subplots: There’s an overall story dedicated to The Watch discovering and defeating aliens. Then there are two subplots that tackle the personal lives of both Stiller and Vaughn’s characters. Stiller and his wife (played by DeWitt) are struggling with infertility, while Vaughn deals with a rebellious teenage daughter (played by Moriarty). Neither scenario makes sense in the context of this film. They’re disjointed and it feels like they belong in another movie.
- The Tone: Considering the lack of humor and bad plot choices, The Watch’s tone is all over the place. It’s a comedy, but there are some genuinely serious moments, paired with its sci-fi elements. There’s no real balance. Everything about the story feels uneven.
The Watch is an ensemble that doesn’t deliver the laughs. It suffers from a sloppy script that is in need of another rewrite. If given the chance, it could have been a fun and campy yet entertaining film. But unfortunately, it’s neither.
The Rating: 3/10
The Watch opens in theaters nationwide July 27.
Will you be seeing The Watch this weekend?