Movie Details

The Watch

In the small town of Glenview, Ohio, Evan Trautwig (Ben Stiller) is an active participant in the community and the senior manager of the local Costco store. His life is disrupted when the store`s night security guard is murdered. The local police have no leads and show no interest in investigating further. Determined to find the killer and bring him to justice, Evan decides to form a Neighbourhood Watch. However, he only manages to recruit Bob (Vince Vaughn), a construction worker and loving father, Franklin (Jonah Hill), a young man who dreams of being a police officer but failed the written, physical, and mental health tests, and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), a recent divorcee. The Watch members use the group as an excuse to drink and have fun, much to Evan`s annoyance. However, when they accidentally uncover an alien plot that threatens the world, they are forced into action.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: M18
Release Date: 23 Aug 2012
Genre: Comedy / Science Fiction
Running Time: 1 Hour 42 Minutes
Distributor: 20TH CENTURY FOX
Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Format: 35MM, 2D

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Review
Writer: Elaine Ewe

Writer Ratings:
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Watch this if you liked: "Hot Rod"

Directed by Akiva Schaffer who is also the director of "Hot Rod", writer for "Saturday Night Live" and a member of The Lonely Island, with a casting that consists of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, anyone who has ever watched either will know what they are in for with "The Watch".

While Schaffer's work with "Saturday Night Live" has been commended and awarded with an Emmy nomination, two Writers Guild of America Awards and a Peabody Award, almost everything about this science fiction comedy points to his pool of talents to be strictly confined to "Saturday Night Live" or The Lonely Island music videos.

Instead of a rip-roaring time, we get racist and sexist stereotypes, endless penis jokes and Costco promotions from the talented cast pool who play a group of neighbours plagued with personal issues that were brought together to form a suburban neighbourhood watch group when a member of their dull community is brutally murdered. Things kick into overdrive when the alien is introduced, and luckily, the special effects in "The Watch" generally impress.

Otherwise, the movie's tone lurches between genre-lampooning humour and earnest drama, where neither is done well. Occasionally, there are moments where it is genuinely hilarious, especially but mostly it is just plain crude, vulgar and offensive. Thankfully, Schaffer is saved by his choice casting and his decision to keep it small-scale and intimate. Some of the film's best moments come from the interactions between Stiller, Vaughn, Hill and Ayoade's characters, such as when they bond over having found a strange metallic orb, and during the final act, all bets are off. There is also traction in the quartet's acting such as Stiller's and Vaughn's more subdued exchanges, which makes it more comical than if it had been over-the-top, while Hill just keeps getting better and better with every film. His turn as the uptight and mentally unhinged Franklin, a high school dropout who dreams of being a police officer is just golden. A new film star is also born in the form of Ayoade, who is best known for starring in the Channel 4 British sitcom, "The IT Crowd" as the geeky genius, Maurice Moss. Here's Ayoade channels a more mellow and quirky persona, albeit still nerdy, which helps provide the film with more novelty.

Seth Rogen and his comedy partner, Evan Goldberg has penned some fine screenplays such as "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express", but "The Watch" is not one of them, although considering his preceding effort, "The Green Hornet", turned out to be a disappointment, we cannot say we were not warned.

The verdict? "The Watch" is basically an extended version of "Saturday Night Live" Digital shorts and The Lonely Island's music videos, complete with the crude, vulgar and offensive humour that is frankly, only worth paying attention to because of the talented cast.

"The Watch" is also available in 2D in Singapore.

Cinema Online, 16 August 2012
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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