The Watch

27 Jan

the watch

Director: Akiva Schaffer

Writers: Writers: Jared Stern, Seth Rogen

Stars: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill

Motion Picture Rating: 15

Runtime: 102 minutes

There is something disconcertingly familiar about recent US comedies. Roughly the same review can be posted for too many of them. That’s not to say that I don’t sit down with an open mind, ready to concentrate, but so many of these films involving the likes of Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow and Jonah Hill play out the same way. A decent set-up, high profile actors and a great poster, a few good lines, but ultimately a very average comedy. It’s all too lazy.

In this one, part written by Rogen and featuring Hill, a small group of generally well-liked and decent comic actors are assembled as an accident prone neighbourhood watch. The likes of Hill, Stiller and Vaughn should spark off each other nicely, but this is tame stuff from the start. Whether it is their egos that are getting in the way or they are simply phoning in their lines I am not sure, but no magic is created. Jonah Hill does OK, but 1 out of 4 hitting their mark is a poor return.

In terms of the neighbourhood being guarded, this one has been infiltrated by aliens. As such the movie aspires to be a comedy with scares in the vein of Gremlins. That is a difficult genre to crack and The Watch fails badly, especially when compared to the UK indie film Attack the Block (from 2011) that has a similar plot. This one is not really very funny and it’s certainly not scary apart from Vaughn’s performance. Frankly, it’s a mess. On top of the alien invasion story 2 sub-plots develop later on around Vaughn’s parenting skills and Stiller’s infertility. They sit awkwardly alongside the diminishing laughs and the sterile action. Overall, a waste of time.

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