Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Watch Commentary

When Karl told me that Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and the hilarious Richard Ayoade were going to be a bunch of suburban losers in a neighborhood watch I thought this would be a can't miss movie.  Then I saw ads and previews and thought, "oh.  They're going to ruin a terrific premise with tremendous potential with a weak and tired alien story."  I was right.

The film stars four of the finest comedic actors that are available (throw in the surprise appearance by Will Forte and it should be comedy gold).  (If you don't know Ayoade, watch all four series of the IT Crowd and you'll see what I mean.)  The film makers waste all of that talent by putting together a movie that has no real story and writing that does not play fully to the actors' strengths.  For example, Vaughn is always at his best when he can be a cool guy that talks a mile a minute.  He talks a mile a minute in the Watch but his character is kind of an awkward loser that would have been better played by a guy like Hill or a Kevin James type.  Instead of building a strong story, there is too much reliance on the four main characters being involved in escalatingly funny dialogue (you know.  The kind of obvious observations delivered in a comedic manner that everyone likes to do now).  But without a good story, it just becomes little sketches that aren't really funny to begin with.

In addition to the lack of story, the characters are very inconsistent.  Evan (Stiller) is supposed to be a straight laced, no nonsense guy but goes along with the crowd way too easily in places.  Bob (Vaughn) is sometimes cool and sometimes a huge wiener (the Russian Nesting Doll incident springs to mind).  The only one that really pulls it off is the Franklin character.  Hill does a fantastic job as a paramilitary police force reject who is really such a huge poser and pushover.

I was on the fence a lot for most of the film.  I think the stars really made me want to like it but the poor film making all around brought me back down to earth on it.  The final kicker though was the absolutely ridiculous and downright stupid solution to the whole problem.  I won't give it away but I just couldn't forgive it.  It is that weak and uninspired.

Don't see it.

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