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The Watch (DVD)
Member Name: cazkins
The Watch (DVD)
Advantages: Light-hearted, enjoyed some cast like Jonah Hill
Disadvantages: Lack-lustre script, silly premise, tried to hard & wasn't funny
I came across this on Amazon and vaguely remember seeing it advertised before at the cinema I think. I didn't know much about it but from the cast alone I could tell it was a comedy. Not wanting to know too much, I failed to read the blurb and then wished I had when I found this delved in to the realm of neighbourhood alien watching. Can't say it's one I'd really recommend as I found it rather difficult to watch at times, but fans of certain cast members may still enjoy it nonetheless for being a bit of mindless fun.
The Watch was directed by Akiva Schaffer who has worked on a few things but mostly short / TV pieces, so this is probably his first big release. I say big, but I think this film flopped more than it succeeded unfortunately. We're introduced to Evan, a Costco manager in Glenview, Ohio, who is happily married in his little slice of suburbia to his wife Abby. His quiet life is disrupted, however, when the store's night watchman Antonio is murdered, and murdered horrifically at that. It's suspicious and almost inhuman, and spurs Evan to charge where the police won't to protect the neighbourhood and bring justice to Antonio's murderer.
And thus 'The Watch' is formed. Consisting of four suburban neighbours, the guys group together at one or another's house and plan their watch tactic. Franklin, Jamarcus, Bob and Evan himself create their own symbol and jackets to match their rather immature and inexperienced roles as protectors and mystery solvers. But they soon discover the face of the killer, and it's none other than an alien (sigh)! With their lives and the planet now threatened as it becomes clear the aliens want to take over the world, potentially starting their takeover in Glenview's Costco, the group have got to pull their socks up if they're going to become heroes.
I won't say any more on the premise, and that's pretty much what is in the blurb, but as the film continues it's a question of whether they can get to the bottom of what's going on and stop further alien-related catastrophe before it's too late. The plot wasn't something that particularly interested me because it seemed to unbelievable in a slapstick way almost, too immature to be properly funny. Aliens in films is a hard one to do well anyway in my opinion, and there aren't many alien films I like. Men In Black did the comedy take quite well, and in comparison The Watch falls flat because it doesn't offer anything too new, anything that stands out, anything that's cutting and quirky.
The cast included Ben Stiller (Evan), Jonah Hill (Franklin), Richard Ayoade (from The IT Crowd, playing Jamarcus) and Vince Vaughn (Bob) as the main players amongst others. As far as casting goes, the main players are all fairly big, popular names, giving the film credibility. I find Stiller to be a bit hit and miss so I'm not his biggest fan, but I do enjoy a bit of Jonah Hill to lighten things up a bit. Vaughn is as ever and what I had expected, so he was fairly easy to watch. Ayoade, however, was more irritating than anything. He was designed to stick out as the English, awkward nerd guy but rather than being stereotypical and funny with it, I found his role pretty lacklustre.
The cast weren't helped by the script, which left much to be desired at times. As I said before, the comedy element wasn't really cutting or memorable and that was in part due to the jokes being quite immature and not hard-hitting. I can see that some might like that and it does make for quite mindless viewing, but I prefer something a little different. I didn't find the script or cast to keep me on my toes and there wasn't really anything that stuck in my mind afterwards. I didn't go away and think 'I'll tell someone about this bit...' or recommend they watch this because... For me, the film wasn't that memorable and it seemed to fall flat by trying too hard to be funny. The use of Costco as the alien takeover station could have been amusing, as could the watch themselves in their silly get-up, but I just found it quite over the top silly rather than actually funny.
On the DVD cover it reads 'Caution: Ruder, cruder & lewder', along with the snippet review quote 'Had me laughing lewdly'. I can't say I really laughed at this and in fact found it quite difficult to watch because it didn't capture my attention too well. Admittedly there were points where it was entertaining, but they were few and far between for a film lasting 102 minutes, and most of my enjoyment came from watching Jonah Hill.
Unfortunately this isn't one I'd really recommend, unless perhaps it comes on TV and there's not much else on. It's light-hearted enough for mindless viewing but I didn't find it particularly engaging, funny or witty.
DVD released 2012, running time 102 minutes, rated Certificate 15
Selling on Amazon for £13.49
Summary: Not my cuppa tea so not one I'd say is worth a 'watch'