- Director:Akiva Schaffer
- Cast:Richard Ayoade, Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn
- Release Date:September 13, 2012
- Distributor:20th Century Fox
- Running time:102 minutes
- Film Worth:$8.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Given the talent involved on both sides of the camera, this is a pretty big disappointment, which squanders its promising premise with tired caricatures.
After a security guard is maimed and murdered at a suburban Costco supermarket, store manager and local busybody Evan (Ben Stiller) establishes a neighbourhood watch program to keep an eye out for anything untoward. Instead of attracting like-minded citizens, Evan lands himself with a bunch of deadbeats – bored family man Bob (Vince Vaughn), mummy’s boy Franklin (Jonah Hill) and the mysterious Jamarcas (Richard Ayoade). As the foursome parole the streets in search of delinquent behaviour, they strike up an unlikely friendship…and discover a celestial being in the process.
Ominous aliens lurking behind the white picket fences of suburbia is a promising premise for a sci-fi comedy, but The Watch misguidedly focuses on the bromance between these men. The problem is, not only are they fundamentally a loathsome group of people, their freewheeling banter is unoriginal and boring. This is especially disappointing given the pedigree of screenwriters in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Pineapple Express, Superbad). The cast do their best with the tired material, but audiences have essentially seen them play these characters countless times before. Ben Stiller is anally retentive, Vince Vaughn is obnoxious and Richard Ayoade is socially awkward. Jonah Hill is somewhat against type as the hostile Franklin, but his performance is devoid of charm.
Instead of embracing its sci-fi elements and combining parody with genuine thrills (ala last year’s Paul), the aliens barely get a look-in and the brief action sequences are handled with a lack of flair from director Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod). The final showdown set in a Costco supermarket is a particular waste of potential (though any opportunity for product placement is taken full advantage of). Despite a promising combination of gross-out comedy, sci-fi and suburban mayhem, The Watch ultimately fails to succeed on any level.