Four everyday suburban guys (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade) come together as an excuse to escape their humdrum lives one night a week. But when they accidentally discover that their town has become overrun with aliens posing as ordinary suburbanites, they have no choice but to save their neighborhood -- and the world -- from total extermination.
THE WATCH is, pardon the pun, unwatchable. I’d could say this flick was the biggest waste of time and talent I’ve seen all year but that would be putting it mildly. This is less a movie and more a 90 minute Costco commercial peppered with a couple of laughs (most of the best gags are in the trailer) and some depressing “I’m doin’ it for the paycheck!” comedy from Ben Stiller (who’s playing an impotent version of Greg Focker), Vince Vaughn (Remember when Vaughn could actually act and didn’t constantly rely on his motor mouth shtick?), Jonah Hill (good job following up 21 JUMP STREET and the Oscar nod for MONEYBALL with this), Will Forte (so funny in MACGRUBER, so annoying here), the aliens from COWBOYS AND ALIENS (not joking), Seth Rogen (who co-wrote this and repurposed his malevolent security guard from OBSERVE AND REPORT for Hill), and Akiva Schaffer (who proved with the SNL “Digital Shorts” and HOT ROD he’s a solid director and proves here he’s capable of setting a camera down and letting sh*t happen in front of it). Only British funnyman Richard Ayoade (so good on THE IT CROWD) and the usually dead serious Billy Crudup (so blue in WATCHMEN) manage to escape this debacle with their dignity intact.
Ayoade and Crudup, both of whom clearly brought their “A” game to “C” picture. The bit with the laser orb, even though it was spoiled by the trailers, was pretty funny. Mel Rodriguez’s Chucho manages to steal virtually every scene he’s in despite not having a single line of dialogue.
Seeing usually reliable actors and behind-the-scenes talent sell out. The endless Costco gags. The endless dick and cum gags. The refusal to commit to the neighborhood watch (most of this was probably deleted or changed, much like the title, following the Trayvon Martin shooting) and sci-fi (no attempt is made to explain why the aliens have arrived, what they want with Earth, or why they’re hiding underneath a Costco) angles.
In case you’re wondering why I didn’t dig deep into the plot of THE WATCH, it’s because there isn’t one. What you’ve seen in the trailers is it. Four guys get together to form a neighborhood watch. That’s followed by endless riffing and improvisation which is followed by the discovery that aliens are trying to take over Earth which is followed by some wacky sh*t with the aforementioned laser orb and then a Costco explodes. The end. I just saved you ten bucks and 90 minutes. You’re welcome.