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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Aug 2: The Watch

Thursday

Aug 2: The Watch

"Suburban dads who form a neighborhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day family routines find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion."
Directed by: Akiva Schaffer, Rated: R, 101 minutes

The Watch is a mess of a film, never knowing where to go with its story or great cast. The film starts off as your everyday comedy but spills out into other genres in a sad attempt to heighten the quality of what's on screen. It goes from comedy, to sci-fi, to balls-out action, but never sticking with a particular genre long enough to give the film any identity. While the cast is solid, with comedy vets Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn teaming up with Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, the chemistry between the four is not as strong. Each individual performance feels like the actors are trying to upstage each other, with Vince Vaughn's attempt consisting of shouting every one of his lines, overpowering and overshadowing the rest of the cast. The Watch is funny at times, but the film packs too many dick jokes as possible into 90 minutes and completely exhausts any humor.

They have penises and they talk about them a lot so it has to be funny. 

The Watch follows Evan (Ben Stiller), a manager at a Costco who's settled a little too comfortably into his quiet life in a tiny Ohio town. After one of his employees is murdered under suspicious circumstances, Evan starts a Neighborhood Watch group with Bob (Vaughn), Franklin (Hill), and Jamarcus (Ayoade). Each member of the gang has their own motives for joining up, but only Evan has any true interest in solving the crime. After the guys run into a mysterious device (and have a lot of fun with its power), they discover that in fact, their quiet Ohio town is being invaded by a group of aliens that have the ability to use human skin as a disguise. As the watch investigate their neighborhood, they question everyone and everything, as anyone could be an extra-terrestrial hiding in our flesh. 

For all we know, E.T could be working at a Hershey's factory, right on the line that makes Reese's Pieces

It's shocking how much product placement is present in The Watch. The movie feels like an extended commercial for Costco and features hundreds of products that fill its shelves. It's in movie advertising in bulk and the game in discovering each new plug turns out to be more entertaining than the movie itself. Once you make notice of the products, it's incredibly hard to "unsee" and makes an already frustrating movie, really distracting. There is a lot of respect for all the talent involved in the film, but with the fact that the cast is practically whoring itself out to products left and right, you can't help but wonder about the lows these actors have hit. 

How much lower can you sink, Vince!? Comeon!

While The Watch has a lot of ideas going for it, the execution is poor. It seems as though the filmmakers took the premise, but quickly ran out of plot. As a solution, they injected a bunch of unnecessary conflict and subplots, as well as a handful of completely out of place scenes, into the movie just to increase its run time. There is very little substance to The Watch and it's very disappointing. When a film can't pull itself together, even when it has a great cast, it's easy to tell the movie was a failure from the beginning. With a poor script that has no idea where to go with itself, The Watch is not worth looking out for. 

The Good:
a very, very small handful of laughs (most of which are pulled from the trailers)
The Bad:
a script so riddled with "member" references you can't help but wonder if a pubescent teenager wrote the script
The Ugly:
seeing such great talent showcase themselves in such a poor comedy, when all involved are clearly worthy of much better 

Overall: 3.9/10

Trailer:

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2 Comments:

At August 3, 2012 at 2:13 PM , Blogger Hannah M said...

I will probably see it anyway, just because I kind of adore Richard Ayoade, but I'm prepared to be disappointed.

 
At August 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM , Blogger Nick said...

I was very excited to see him in the film, as I love The IT Crowd.

 

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