Premise: Ben Stiller is a married guy with no friends, so he starts clubs all over his suburb. When his security guard at CostCo (Stiller is the manager) gets murdered, he begins a neighborhood watch team. Only three other people join; Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn (blech), and some guy no one has ever heard of. Turn it into an alien invasion comedy, and make sure to shoe horn an odd infertility subplot for some reason, and you’ve got The Watch.
-Jonah Hill is pretty funny in this. He’s pretty much just asked to be a side character, and he is like a fine spice atop an overcooked steak. I’d say of the probably 15 times I actually, genuinely laughed; 10 of them were from Jonah, 3 of them from Will Forte as the dickish police officer, and the last two from Ben Stiller. Jonah Hill seems like the kind of excitable guy who was probably like “I grew up on Ben Stiller movies! I’d love to be in one! Yes, I’ll do it! No, I don’t need to read the script first!”
-I can’t say I was ever BORED while watching this film. But it wasn’t always that captivating either. I certainly watched it. That’s kind of a compliment, right?
-I will that say I had a steady chuckle throughout the whole thing. Whether that’s because I was giving a lot of dumb jokes pity laughs or not, I was still quietly chuckling. If I may use this overused line: A lot of parts were funny, but not HA HA funny.
-Great cameo from The Lonely Island.
-Vince Vaughn pretty much plays his character from Old School: kind of rich, bored, looking for a way to get through his 40s/50s through heavy male bonding. Jonah Hill pretty much plays Seth Rogen’s character from Observe and Report: rejected from police academy for failing psych exam, loose cannon, obsessed with weaponry. Ben Stiller more of less plays a combo of his straight-laced character from the Focker movies and his overly concerned character from The Royal Tenenbaums. The other guy pretty much plays Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords. Just saying, this movie didn’t offer up any characters we all haven’t seen already.
-Resorts to a lot of low brow humor. Only it’s not clever, and feels like a teenager laughing at a fart. It’s vulgar for the sake of being vulgar. The most serious scene in the entire film still featured the words “cock” and “jizz” a few times.
-Not that I think this dumb comedy was looking for major plot twists, but it was pretty predictable overall, even for a dumb comedy.
-Vince Vaughn hasn’t been funny in years, and he plays the same character in everything he’s done since Old School.
-Office Space already did the “White suburban dudes set to aggressive rap soundtrack” joke before. And did a much better job doing it than The Watch did.
-The alien design was uninspired. Not that I expected it to be great or anything.
-It’s basically a giant commercial for CostCo.
-They managed to wrap up all four of the main characters’ stories with voice over narration in the last 45 seconds of the film. Only; two of the characters’ endings didn’t even attempt to have jokes, one of them had a bad joke, and the last one had a re-hashed joke. And Ben Stiller’s ending didn’t even quite make sense. It was like the weirdest choice on how to end a comedy movie I’ve ever seen.
Final Thoughts: This seemed like a movie Kevin James should have been in. Only there were too many swear words, and Adam Sandler wasn’t involved. I’ve laughed less at other movies, but The Watch was still undeniably bad. A forgettable, waste-of-time kind of comedy. It’s redeemed somewhat by Jonah Hill, but not enough to ever warrant a recommendation from me.
5 out of 10