The Watch

The Watch


Reviewed by: Donald Munro

Unwatchable. I wish I could leave this review of The Watch at that and not have another minute of my life wasted by that tedious disaster of a film. The Watch is 102 minutes in length and not any longer, and that is the nicest thing I can say about it. It would be better if it were shorter - much shorter. It would be better if anyone in the film put in the effort to act. On that front Ben Stiller (Evan) outclasses any of the other leads by putting in a poor to mediocre performance. He at least conveys a certain amount of emotion and a sense of involvement in the story.

At the other end of the very short spectrum, Richard Ayoade (Jamarcus) doesn't act. He uses a few of the mannerisms from Maurice Moss, his character in The IT Crowd, and sticks to a policy of Can't Act, Won't Act. Vince Vaughn (Bob) parodies the worst bits of his other film characters and Jonah Hill (Franklin) can't pull off the sexual creepiness that is central to his role. He comes across more like dog repeatedly trying and failing to have sex with a leather sofa.

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I'm not sure that I can entirely blame the actors for their lack of engagement with the film. The script that they have to work with is terrible. Aliens, in their plan for world domination, have taken over a Costco in an American town and have started killing locals for no apparent reason. I guess that's just what Aliens do.

Maybe they want to stop films like this being made. Are they wiping out the Earth for the greater artistic good?

In response to the first killing, Evan forms a neighbourhood watch group: four dysfunctional guys in a car ready to fight crime and indulge in male bonding. This could have worked with the right dialogue but, no, it has the wrong dialogue. It is a mix of exposition, expletives and puerile drivel. Dick, shit, fuck, cunt - the only three syllable word in the whole script is vagina. Maybe The Watch would have been better if any of the female actors had been allowed to open their mouths and say anything other than: "Can I suck your balls?" There is a constant level of misogyny running through the script. Women are treated like objects and have almost no agency.

Can anything save this film? No. The references to SF films fall flat. The special effects are uninspired, with the exception of an exploding cow. The action sequences are turgid and interrupted by poorly placed visual gags, and the aliens look like they come from a 10-year-old computer game.

Reviewed on: 24 Aug 2012
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The Watch packshot
Members of a neighbourhood watch scheme attempt to see off an alien invasion.
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Director: Akiva Schaffer

Writer: Jared Stern, Seth Rogen

Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt

Year: 2012

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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