What do you get when you mix a control freak, a partying father, a rebellious cop wannabe, and an English man with a sexual dream? The answer is the cast for the latest comedy/ sci fi mixture titled the Watch. However, don’t let the genre combination fool you as this is not about four big stars taking off into space to have intergalactic adventures. Instead, it’s a rag tag bunch of comedians attempting to uncover the truth about aliens in their neighborhood and the struggles they face. Now while this sounds like a horrible and tired plot, 20th century fox has managed to recruit some big named stars to hopefully deliver the laughing punch I’ve so been looking for. Was the combination of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade strong enough to make the movie fun, or has their comedy grown stale and weak. Read on to find out.
Let’s start by saying that these four stars hunting out aliens in a rural neighborhood is a bit of a stretch and sure to be interesting. However, the shallow plot aside, there were a few deeper and unexpected things that this film had to offer. One of these things just happens to be the amount of gore and bloodiness this movie has to offer. Throughout the entire movie, there are a few rather graphic shots of both aliens and human getting dismembered, which should be a warning for those planning on taking kids. Although the goriness is not the most gruesome, it’s still a little shocking to see someone’s heart get ripped out of their bodies for this movie.
What was even more shocking though was the amount of sexual material present in this film, which I wasn’t expecting as much. Most of the jokes, dialog, and language focused on penis, sex, or vagina jokes, which for a sci/fi movie about hunting down aliens is not what comes to mind. While some of the jokes were funny, or the delivery of the jokes, I grew a little bored as the same innuendos were constantly thrown at me. Unfortunately there were also a few times where the staff got a little too carried away with the jokes or mannerisms and really grossed me out. My threshold for sexual comedy is definitely lower, so I’m probably more offended by it, however you have been warned. Perhaps what you shouldn’t be surprised by is the foul language that also goes along with the sexual dialog. Like most R movies, the Watch is filled with constant use of the F word. If you haven’t been desensitized to that word yet, you’ll get closer with this movie as both Hill and Vaughn say it without any limits. The Watch doesn’t stop there though, as the writers decided to integrate the M F and C words into the mixture as well, though they haven’t quite gotten to the point of Kick-Ass cursing. Again well timed cursing is okay with me, but used in excessive amounts just gets stale, bland, and rather annoying for this reviewer.
With the negative surprises aside, let’s talk about a few other things I caught in this movie. Like most comedy movies, the trailer can ruin a good amount of comedic genius, and the Watch is no different. The lines that I’ve seen in the countless trailers were old by the time I saw the film with the only difference being the addition of sexual innuendos and cursing, that were edited out. On the positive side though there were a number of “interesting” and sometimes funny jokes that were not in the trailers. Vaughn and Hill in particular had some ridiculous stunts and lines that were rather funny, and kept my friends and me laughing amongst the sea of drab. What was even funnier for me thought was the way the duo spoke. Fans of Vaughn’s loud, crazy, and sporadic rants will be pleased to see him rant like some overgrown juvenile as he explains his philosophies on various problems. Those who liked Jonah Hill in 21 Jump street, will pleased to see his attempts to be cool and tough return once more, though this time he doesn’t have to rely on his costars to set him up. Even Ayoade has a few well timed lines and his British accent and new foreign guy story provide some interesting scenarios. Stiller though is still not the funniest guy, only having a few awkward scenes and one hit wonder lines to get the audience laughing. Instead his character is there to kind of keep morals and focus on the mission of the watch and keep the chaotic actions of the Watch at bay. He also helps drive the plot, character, and morals and helps add some emotional depth to the movie to help make more realistic characters, though there is not much focus on this in a comedy. What was the funniest thing for me though were the various movie references that were mentioned in the movie. If you listen closely enough and know your movies you’ll find at least four movie references that will make you laugh.
The Watch is definitely a typical comedy that has some good chemistry and well delivered lines, however it is still just a mediocre comedy. Fans of crude humor will find the vulgarity very entertaining and will enjoy the hour and half. The chemistry of the team and their diverse backgrounds also help keep things fresh, but not even four pronunciations of the F bomb can keep the word from growing stale. Is it worth a trip to the movies? I say no, but it has Netflix/Redbox potential for later dates. Yet if you have to go see it, well grab your frat brothers or poker buddies, because that’s the prime audience. My scores for the films are the following:
Movie Overall: 6.5