Review: The Watch


Sometimes, a trailer comes out for a film and my body is rocked. There have been a few of those this year, namely 21 Jump Street and Sinister. 21 Jump Street is one of my favorite movies of the year, and Sinister looks like it will chill me to the bone.

Then there’s trailers that drive me up the wall after I see them a third or fourth time, like The American. The original American trailer had Sidekick Pat and myself considering double-suicide, and that trailer played before what felt like everything.

Finally, there’s middle-of-the-road trailers like The Watch. Its teaser was brilliant, but the first full trailer, which gave away too much (re: that there were aliens in it) and they showed it way more than the newer trailer, and I never saw the redband trailer (peep it below). The trailer wasn’t bad, but by the time I plopped my butt in the theater seat last night I was glad to never have to see it again.

How does the full film match up to my sentiments towards its trailer? Let’s find out.

The Watch
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Rating: R
Release Date: July 27, 2012

The Watch follows a very community-minded guy named Evan who, after the security guard at the Costco Evan is manager of is horrifically murdered, forms a neighborhood watch. The three men who show up to join his ranks are family man Bob (Vince Vaughn), quietly psychotic Franklin (Jonah Hill), and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), who would very much like an Asian housewife to suck on his balls. During their first patrol, they discover aliens walk among them, and as such, set out to stop them.

One problem I’ve had lately is that I’ve finally learned to watch movies objectively. I laughed a lot during this movie. However, that doesn’t mean it was a good movie. When nine out of every ten jokes is a dick joke (and the tenth a joke about the Nick Teen Choice Awards), it starts to wear on a guy. Again, it’s a funny movie, and I laughed, but I left the theater feeling kind of blah about it.

It’s all very confusing for me, because it has a recipe for success. The cast is actually pretty great. The above four are excellent, some (Ayoade and Hill) more than others. Evan’s dutiful albeit bland wife is played by United States of Tara’s Rosemarie DeWitt, R. Lee Ermey plays a hilarious crotchety resident with a shotgun, Will Forte plays a douchebag cop, and the Lonely Island (of which director Schaffer comprises one-third of) all appear in a cameo that’s too good for me to spoil for you.

The writing is, if nothing else, humorous. I mean, what would you expect from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg? Lots and lots of dick jokes, as I mentioned, but they also attempted for some real emotion at times. Maybe that was to the film’s detriment. I felt that the climax was all just a set-up for an all-you-can-eat dick joke buffet. Just to clarify, when I say dick jokes, I mean dick jokes. Seriously, if you asked me to describe the humor of this film, I’d choose the word ‘phallic.’

At the end of the day, The Watch was not a bad film. It just isn’t a good one, which I really hoped it would’ve been. I guess in a year where the comedy gods reached down from above to deliver unto us a film like 21 Jump Street, it’s got to be hard to get out of that film’s shadow. Those involved performed admirably, but in the end, The Watch is worth a Redbox rent at best.

If you are looking for something to tickle your funny bones this weekend, check out Akiva Schaffer and the Lonely Island’s earlier offering, Hot Rod. That is the first (and best) film I ever watched twice in one day.