The Watch: "His Heart's Out Of His Body Fella, I Don't Think He's Gonna Make It"

Director: Akiva Schaffer
Writer:    Jared Stone
                Seth Rogen
                Evan Goldberg
Starring: Ben Stiller
                Vince Vaughn
                Jonah Hill
                Richard Ayoade
                Rosemarie DeWitt
                Will Forte
                Billy Crudup
                Andy Samberg
Rating:    **

Release Date: Out Now

Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Richard Ayoade &
Vince Vaughn
There used to be a time when comedies were funny, and while a few funnies have managed to slip through the cracks, overall they pretty much suck nowadays. There was also a time when Ben Stiller featured in funny films; I know, crazy, but at one time (not so long ago) this was a very true statement. The Watch is like a simple mans attempt at capturing the former Ghostbusters glory (with an extra-terrestrial twist), but rather than running smoothly or with any coherence, it just lollops along like a series of dumbed down sketches. The issue with the limited writing means that the punchlines become predictable and more than often fall short.

It's your typical day in suburban America, but things are about to get 'interesting'; in the local supermarket an employee is killed in a violent and gruesome manner. No longer feeling safe in his own community, store manager, Evan (Stiller), decides to take matters into his own hands and starts a neighbourhood watch scheme. The recruits he manages to secure are a lot less interested in the idea than Evan is, but a crews a crew; Bob (Vaughn) is an obnoxious and booze-fuelled moron; Franklin (Hill) is an overly aggressive, wannabe/ex-cop; and Jamarcus (Ayoade) is a lonely, perverted divorcee. 
Rosemarie DeWitt

The thing I found so incredibly odd about this film is that the director, writers (including the usually funny Seth Rogen), and even the cast don't seem to give a damn about making a connection with their audience, so the whole film soon gets dull.

We all know that the cast can be (and have been) funny, but for some reason poor career choices mean all four have ended up in a film like this. Hill for example, in his last major project (21 Jump Street) he was really endearing and amusing, but in this he is arrogant, ignorant and fails to produce anyhting of comedic value. Vaughn, who hasn't been funny for a while to be fair, is given the role of a 'proud father', but even that is sucked dry and lifeless; and when Stiller finally gets some touching scenes with his wife (DeWitt), you have completely given up caring so they are never given a chance.

Akiva Schaffer, Will Forte & Jonah Hill
The only character that even slightly works is Ayoade's Jamarcus. Being such an oddball in the film means he sticks out, and therefore he is actually quite memorable. His delivery is so quick, quirky and dead-pan that he, as a whole, is completely set aside from his castmates. Sadly his dry, 'British' delivery is the only funny part of The Watch, with the other gags and set pieces falling extremely flat. All you have to do is look at the alien shooting scene to see how the filmakers really like to overdo and suck the life out of a joke.

To put it bluntly, The Watch is one of the biggest cinema flops I have seen recently, and it is quite possibly the biggest let down of 2012. No amount of physical comedy, friendly banter or A-list comedy actors can change that, and the film now has to deal with it's inevitable failings. 

The Watch - Red Band Trailer