The Watch

Cast: , , ,
Genre: ,
Age Restriction:
Studio: 21 Laps Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox
Running Time: 102 mins

Verdict: 1.5 / 5

The Ben Stiller bromantic alien-fighting flick The Watch, originally titled Neighborhood Watch, takes its lead from the superior British hit Attack the Block, mixing science-fiction with comedy. Unfortunately, it has traded in originality in favour of vulgarity in the form of immature, gross-out gags and crass conversations about male genitalia. There are a few undeniably funny moments in The Watch, the kind usually found in Seth Rogen films, but overall the balance between story and comedy is lacking.

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Evan (Ben Stiller) loves his job as the manager of a local supermarket, befriending customers and employers. When the night guard, a friend of Evan’s, is brutally murdered he vows to find the killer. He starts a neighborhood watch, recruiting a bunch of misfits. Among them is Bob (Vince Vaugh), an overprotective father, Franklin (Jonah Hill), an adolescent rejected by the police force, and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade of IT Crowd fame), a good-natured Brit who dreams of rescuing housewives. Initially, Evan is the only one who takes the “club” seriously, but after they encounter a deadly creature from another planet they put their heads together to protect their hood.

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Even with a star-studded line up there are too many moments of awkwardness in The Watch. Jokes about “balls” and “willies” are only so funny for so long. What we have here is a sloppy comedy with a few good laughs and none of the actors giving one hundred percent. Given the alien invasion material, The Watch could have easily been a lot funnier and less predictable. Ultimately it’s a film that qualifies as botch. When making a funny, stupid, crazy fun film it’s important not to leave the funny crazy fun part behind.


With a 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes it’s hard to argue in favour of The Watch. But you could do worse than hire it on a boy’s night out. The Watch is watchable, but it’s nothing more than that. Lacklustre!

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