The Watch Review

Things could not have gone much worse for this movie.  Not only was this film postponed, but it was also released domestically on the opening weekend of the Olympics.  To make matters worse, The Watch was the brunt of more than a few thrashings from movie critics.  Due to a plethora of terrible initial reviews, and an extremely poor box office showing, I went into The Watch expecting to hate it.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this film, and not only found it to be tolerable, but actually enjoyable and pretty damn funny.

After a friend and employee of his is brutally murdered, Evan (Ben Stiller) starts up a neighborhood watch to deal with the threat of a killer, but quickly discovers he is dealing with something much more sinister, a potential alien invasion.  The premise is nothing particularly special or original, and although other films like Attack the Block make much better use of the concept, the plot execution in The Watch was fine, albeit predictable.  While not all of the humor was successful, I left the theater with the overall impression that it was a solid, R-rated comedy, which is exactly what I expected considering it was co-written by Seth Rogan.

As for the actors, I thought just about all of them met my expectations as far as humor was concerned.  I’m not really a fan of Vince Vaughn in general, but I have to admit, he is quite funny in this film and has one of the most memorable lines of the movie.  Jonah Hill is, predictably, good, but the bright spot of this movie for me was Richard Ayoade, a lesser-known British actor who recently directed a truly wonderful film called Submarine.  Despite being the least famous person in this all-star cast, he not only provided the most laughs but also was the most charismatic onscreen presence, even among the likes of Stiller and Vaughn.

Despite the great actors in this movie, the real reason I went to see this movie, along with many other movie nerds, is because it is the first “big” film directed by Akiva Schaffer of Lonely Island fame.  I personally loved the first film he directed, Hot Rod, and hoped that The Watch would provide similarly bizarre and quirky humor.  While The Watch doesn’t deliver on that front, as it’s a very conventional comedy in many respects, it does have an amazing cameo by all three members of The Lonely Island, which on its own justifies seeing this movie.

While it may be the unpopular opinion, I will go up to bat for this movie.  Sure, it’s no 21 Jump Street, but it is actually funny, if not somewhat juvenile at times.  This movie probably isn’t going to be remembered as a great comedy, but it’s certainly a good one, and I’m a little bit uncertain why this movie was torn to pieces by critics, when I personally found it to be a film that I would probably recommend for anyone who is just looking for a few good laughs.

Rating: 3 out of 5

17 thoughts on “The Watch Review

    • Andrew King August 9, 2012 / 10:00 pm

      He really is great, I haven’t seen The IT Crowd yet, but seeing this movie makes me want to.

  1. alexgdavis August 10, 2012 / 12:10 am

    I wish they had just focused more on the aliens, rather than making a slightly lamer version of every other Frat Pack movie. But yeah, Richard Ayoade was fantastic, and I would definitely recommend The IT Crowd. It’s wayyyy better than The Watch. 🙂

    • Andrew King August 10, 2012 / 2:30 pm

      Yeah, a lot of people didn’t seem to like this movie, but my overall approach to it is, hey, it’s funny.

  2. Lapiskamay August 11, 2012 / 12:06 am

    critics and rating sometimes brutalize good movies, why are they hard to please? people just want to have some fun and be entertained. I think I might want to watch the movie, i’m a big fan of both Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. great review!

    • Andrew King August 11, 2012 / 3:14 am

      I thought it was a good, solid comedy. I have to say, I probably liked it better then Ted.

  3. jabrody August 13, 2012 / 2:11 am

    You had me convinced until you said that you loved Hot Rod. Although the lines about AM radio were funny.

    • Andrew King August 13, 2012 / 12:22 pm

      Haha well maybe I should clarify that a little bit. I fully acknowledge it isn’t really a good movie, but I thought it was a pretty interesting combination of funny and bizarre that definitely made it memorable.

      • jabrody August 13, 2012 / 9:42 pm

        Better flawed and memorable than flawless and forgettable. Except for Spiderman 2.

      • Andrew King August 13, 2012 / 9:48 pm

        I have to say, I really do love that Spiderman movie. I just went back and watched Evil Dead 2, and the man really does do a good job with his movies.

  4. Kat August 17, 2012 / 12:44 am

    I’m really hit-or-miss on comedies in general, and the reviews I’ve read have all tended to suggest this is exactly the kind of comedy I usually can’t stand, but your review has convinced me to at least give it a chance when it comes out on DVD!

    • Andrew King August 17, 2012 / 1:55 am

      I felt like it is a good one to watch with friends on DVD. It isn’t amazing or ground breaking, but not nearly as bad as people have made it out to be. It has, what, a 12% on Rotten Tomatoes? It isn’t nearly that bad.

      • Kat August 17, 2012 / 4:23 am

        Duly noted, I shall try for exactly that sort of viewing environment!

  5. collett19 August 27, 2012 / 12:54 pm

    The trailers I had seen really turned me off this film but after reading your review I might give it a go.

    Can’t judge a book etc etc

    • Andrew King August 27, 2012 / 12:56 pm

      Yeah, you cant always trust lousy trailers. The trailers for 21 Jump Street and Scott Pilgrim made them look terrible and I ended up really liking both of those movies.

  6. hedgehogplop November 10, 2012 / 6:20 pm

    Glad I came across this review; the ratings made me shelve my interest but now I look forward to snagging a copy.

    (If you haven’t seen Ayoade’s performance in the gravely underrated show ‘Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place’, then I enthusiastically recommend tracking down some episodes.)

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