10 sept. 2012

My Review: The Watch (5/10)

¨There is an alien invasion happening; they are among us.¨

The Watch had an outstanding comedic cast like most summer comedies tend to, but the material failed to live up to those talents once again. I really liked these actors and was hoping the film to be a huge success, but despite laughing several times I felt this film was missing something. I found myself laughing throughout several scenes, but at the same time thinking to myself how ridiculous and predictable the plot and jokes were. The material isn’t really that good, but we have excellent actors that can make a mediocre movie into a better one and this was the case. The jokes weren’t as funny as the performers. I`m still waiting for that one hit comedy of the year (I haven’t seen Ted yet and am hoping that will be it), but I was definitely disappointed with The Watch despite not having a terrible time with it. The Watch is one of those films you might enjoy watching once if you`re really bored, but you will probably want to stay away from a second viewing. The characters are all common stereotypes: you have the nerd who wants to please and befriend everyone, the man child who is always screaming (a character that Will Ferrell made famous), the sex driven guy with the funny accent, and the tough guy who still lives with his mother. They all come together once again for this buddy comedy that mixes the humor with a sci-fi adventure theme that really never works. The action and the comedy didn’t blend in as well as it did in Pineapple Express for example, and in my opinion this film was trying to set a familiar tone.

The plot revolves around four guys who decide to start a neighborhood watch group after a murder takes place in their small town. Evan (Ben Stiller) is always trying to please people and keeping busy in the community by starting local clubs and events. He`s also the local manager of Costco and happily married to Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) with whom he`s trying to have a child. When a local guard from Costco is murdered he decides to begin a neighborhood watch in order to keep everyone safe and find the murderer. The police in town represented by Sgt. Bressman (Will Forte) are pretty incompetent, so Evan finds it in his kind heart to help despite not anyone else carrying. Only three neighbors show up to the first meeting after Evan gives his uninspiring speech to the community; they are Franklin (Jonah Hill), Bob (Vince Vaughn), and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade). The three of them really show up for different reasons: Bob wants to escape his married life and bond with the guys, Franklin always wanted to be a police officer but failed his exams, and Jamarcus is the foreigner who wants to make new friends (and if possible save a beautiful girl so she can reward him). None of them really know what they are going to go up against, and the rest of the community think they are a joke. The criminal they are looking for turns out not to be human, and when they encounter the alien for the first time they take it upon themselves to protect their neighbors at all costs.

The film is as ridiculous as the premise sounds but you will find yourself laughing throughout the film because of the talented cast working together. One of the funniest scenes for me revolved around the four guys taking pictures of themselves with an apparently dead alien, but you can watch this scene in the trailers so I guess it`s not saying much. The film is really predictable and forgettable but I didn’t find it really awful either. By tomorrow I will have probably forgot all about it, but for an evening in which I had nothing to do it was ok. This is perhaps one of Seth Rogen`s worst work as a screenwriter although he had some help this time and therefore can share the blame. The director, Akiva Schaffer, really hasn’t had much experience as a film director since he is mostly known for his direction in Saturday Night Live. The film itself could have probably worked better as a five minute SNL sketch than a full feature film. Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller should try to do something different and move away from their typical roles. I could have said the same thing about Jonah Hill, but he did try something different in Moneyball and it completely worked for him, but he came back once again to his typical role. Richard Ayoade I had not heard of so I can`t say anything on his behalf, but it pretty much felt to me that all these actors played it safe with their roles and didn’t take any risks. That is why no one will remember The Watch came out by the end of the year.

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