Posted on July 28, 2012 AT 08:58pm
The comedy genre is filled with movies that focus on the most ridiculous of things, but very few have pulled off an adult themed comedy that features aliens.The Watch, the newest science-fiction/comedy starring Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn and Richard Ayoade attempt to take on this task, blending two genres that very rarely cross paths.
The story focuses on Evan Trautwig (Stiller), a manager at the Costco in the small town of Glenview, Ohio. In the absence of friends, Evan starts numerous club, including a neighborhood watch, after the mysterious death of his friend, which occurred in gruesome fashion at his very store. This leads to his meeting with Bob (Vaughn), the overprotective father with a bit of a sarcastic streak, Franklin (Hill), the emotionally unstable police academy reject, and JaMarcus (Ayoade), who is just a rather strange Englishman. Together they investigate the surprising appearance of aliens in their community, and how to go about stopping them.
The cast is full of stars in the comedy world, with comedy mainstays like Stiller and Vaughn being the focus of the film. With that in mind, the film, for all its vulgar one-liners isn’t all that funny. There are bits of pieces of the trademark brand of comedy that are very entertaining, but most of the jokes fall flat, acting as placeholders while the plot takes its time progressing. The screen time isn’t distributed very well, either, with Stiller, who plays yet another straight-laced voice of reason character, and Vaughn, the more reckless of the two, taking most of the screen time. Johan Hill, whose characters was the most entertaining of the four, was almost completely wasted in the film, though good use was made of the time he did get. Ayoade had some great moments as well, though given his relatively unknown name and pretty basic characters, he wasn’t all that necessary throughout most of the movie.
From a technical standpoint, however, the movie was surprisingly solid, with the alien beings given a lot of care and careful creation. The creatures looked terrifying and realistic, with a lot of detail put into them, which is surprising for a film that focuses on vulgar jokes. The explosions and weaponry looked great, as well, with the special effects given high priority.
Despite not having hit-or-miss jokes, the movie was actually entertaining throughout. The good jokes were dispersed pretty evenly through the course of the film, making it enjoyable, but on the borderline between just entertaining enough and too terrible to get through, a line which it walked along the whole time.
Most of the time, the movie was entertaining, though not very good. Not ridiculous enough to fall under the “so awful it’s hysterical” type of films, and not anywhere near good enough to be considered anything more than a decently amusing movie. The mindless, predictable plot makes it an easy film to digest, and is a movie worth going to, as long as the viewer has no problem with not being asked to think. Very little is left to the imagination, and anyone paying attention can figure out what the movie is going for. The movie was in some trouble the minute a concept was decided upon, but did a serviceable job mixing two genres that rarely go well when mixed. Despite entertaining promotional trailers, the humor is sparse and the acting is sub-par at best, The Watch did its best to be an outlandish comedy, but falls well short of the mark.
The Good: Great Visual Effects, Especially For A Comedy
The Bad: Predictable Plot, Sub-Par Acting
The Ugly: Jokes Mostly Fall Flat
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