The Watch

4 Oct

Disclaimer: Sexual content and vulgar reference towards it still puts me in an awkward situation however old I get. So my general rule is to avoid R-rated films especially when they fall into the genre of comedy, romance or drama. Unfortunately I didn’t carefully look at the IMDB parental advisory before I went for the film ‘The Watch’. Anyway… this is clearly not my type of genre.

‘The Watch’ is about Evan Trautwig (Ben Stiller) who’s in love with his little town Glenview in Ohio and participates in various community initiatives while proudly managing a local Costco. After the mysterious murder of his colleague/friend Antonio Guzman (Joe Nunez), he takes it upon himself to set up a neighbourhood force to watch over the community and find the murderer. As volunteers Bob (Vince Vaughn), a possessive father; Franklin (Jonah Hill) a knife wielding police department reject who lives with his mom; and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) a housewife-fantasising Brit make up what he calls the ‘neighbourhood watch’. As they stumble deeper into the mystery, they come face to face with aliens and an invasion with Glenview being ground zero.

Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Richard Ayoade and Vince Vaughn

Ben Stiller is as reliable as ever, but then he has played the same character in a dozen films before. You don’t see anything new but it’s as well played through as expected. I’ve never been a fan of Vince Vaughn and honestly his foul mouthed ‘seen it before’ act doesn’t change that. He does what he does well, but it still doesn’t impress me. Richard Ayoade was refreshing in comparison and did manage to be funny whenever he got the opportunity. Jonah Hill for me was the best of the four. The way he held his own among the others was great to watch and the unstable trigger-happy act was good.

From the people who wrote the brilliant but foul-mouthed teen film ‘Superbad’ (Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg along with Jared Stern), you can’t help but expect better. With the mishmash of comedy and Sci-Fi (while flirting with horror, romance and drama), the film is left in doldrums while it keeps shifting almost abruptly between the genres. Then there were the unwanted subplots and characters that bloated the film’s plots into the realm of senselessness.

This was clearly a case where less was better than more, but it seems nobody told that to the director Akiva Schaffer.



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