Release date: July 27, 2012
Directed by: Akiva Schaffer
Written by: Jared Stern and Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt
Running Time: 98 minutes
Neither an in-depth look at the internal mechanisms of a specific timepiece, nor a noir-ish character study of some tortured voyeur peering through grime-encrusted blinds at hapless young dames … consider The Watch as a lame monster mash-up. Compared to earlier sci-fi comedies starring disparate teams who engage in otherworldly smackdowns – such as Men in Black, Ghostbusters and Evolution – this movie is so confused about what it is, it can barely negotiate one alert walk down a short neighborhood block.
The neighborhood in question is Glenview, Ohio, a sleepy suburb of dullish folks who live in McMansions that don’t quite match the economy of the ‘hood. (Not a plot point but, rather, just one of many confounding miscues.) Our protagonist is Ben Stiller’s civic-minded Evan, McMansion owner and senior manager of the local CostCo. When the store’s night watchman is murdered (his skin taken along with his life), Evan decides to recruit a neighborhood crime watch committee to investigate further. (Another illogical plot point: While Evan is initially urged on by Will Forte’s Police Sergeant Bressman to help the understaffed eight-member police force, Bressman then goes out of his way to undermine any actions that Evan & Co. subsequently attempt.)
Even with his painstakingly designed flyers and impassioned speeches, Evan only manages to recruit three somewhat indifferent members: Vince Vaughn’s Bob, looking to escape the problems of raising a willful teenage daughter by hanging with new pals in his mancave; Jonah Hill’s Franklin, living at home with mom, nursing a grudge at the police who rejected his efforts to join the force; and Richard Ayoade’s Jamarcus, divorced and hoping that the group will help him to sexually connect with hot Asian women. And so, sporting brand new jackets emblazoned with flying tiger logos, the Neighborhood Watch is ready to take on evil wherever it lurks. That said, when they encounter green goo and a mysterious tentacle belonging to god-knows-what, and when they find a strange, bowling ball-like device that can blow up a cow in a single blast … they realize they just may be out of their league, combatting something that just may be out of this world. But do they ask for help? Of course not.
[For the full review and rating on doddle, please click here]