While watching this you may wonder what other movies has Akiva Schaffer directed? And usually when another SNL member shows up on screen something just seems fishy. It turns out Schaffer directed the Hot Rod movie, not the biggest hit in the world, and he does a lot of work with Andy Samberg in the Lonely Island comedy skits. He must have had another itch to bring a movie out, and here is The Watch. A little bit sci-fi, and a little bit comedy.
Evan works at Costco, and is pretty content with his life minus the fact he is trying to avoid his wife’s attempts to have a baby. Until one of the workers are killed during their night duty at the store, Evan feels he must make a neighborhood watch after the failed attempts of the police investigating the crime. Only three other guys besides Evan arrive to take part in watching out for the neighborhood, and even they don’t seem to believe this is really for that, but more so to enjoy playing pool, drinking, and watching sports. When the guys find themselves caught in the middle of a huge alien invasion though they find that this may be a bit more serious than they previously expected.
What hurts the movie isn’t the fact it’s about aliens, but more that they had a lot of funny content without adding so much sexual stuff. The characters on their own made funny cutouts of characters that could be funny because of their personalities like the crazy guy, or the creepy new neighborhood guy. The thing is that this movie is a little bit more aimed at making guys laugh than women, but yet it has scenes that a guy would never want to see in a million years in it. Heterosexual men are easily squeamish, it’s just a fact. Of course, it adds some boobs to make up for that. Schaffer didn’t want to leave anyone out.
Vince Vaughn as Bob is one of the surprising stand outs. He is rarely funny in other movies, but somehow he works in this movie as the overprotective dad of his daughter. Richard Ayoade as Jamarcus is sort of the newcomer of the group as far as making appearances in movies, and while his character is the most disgusting of the group he does have some funny moments that work. Also, there is Jonah Hill as the creepy Franklin. Hill doesn’t seem like a character who can do many diverse roles, but he works in this one as Franklin. He hasn’t ever played a creepy guy, so it seemed a toss up how it would go. Ben Stiller as Evan is sort of the leader, but somehow Stiller hasn’t stood out in a role in a while. Even here he seems just like any other Stiller character he has played. The only other person who seems to make a consistent appearance is Evan’s wife, Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt). Her character development plays out nicely, and the relationship between her and Evan is summed up well by the end.
The Watch is a little outlandish in nature with the comedic jokes, and the mixture of aliens running around. It will get you to laughing at points, and others it’s too gross to really know what to think. Females just usually don’t find penis jokes funny, and men might highly be deterred by the level of jokes it takes it to sometimes utilizing men. For some they will walk away just not liking it as much as they could.
Schaffer still shows he has some polishing to do as far as what to do comically in a movie to appeal to whatever audience he is reaching. The Watch does have a nice touch of sci-fi to keep you interested though in what will happen. The plot is a bit unique too, which is appreciated. All the actors do quite good to in their parts, with some of them seeming to have better moments than they have had in a while in their careers. Most importantly, it keeps you entertained despite the things that make you sort of cringe waiting to see how it plays out.
Rating 3 of 5.