Written by / 7/29/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

STILLER & VAUGHN IN THE WATCH

year: 2012 cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Will Forte, Erin Moriarty, Doug Jones, R. Lee Ermy, Richard Ayoade SCORE: ***
Unfairly criticized for not being very funny, THE WATCH is, well… not very funny. But it’s still a pretty decent and involving movie about a small town four-dude Neighborhood Watch headed by Ben Stiller, who manages the local Costco where the night security guard was killed mysteriously. Stiller’s uptight Evan puts out fliers with only three responses: Vince Vaughn’s partying single dad Bob; Jonah Hill’s edgy wannabe cop Franklin; and Jamarcus, the token oddball played with charming finesse by Richard Ayoade.

Ben takes the straight man mantle to the limit (what Jason Bateman does all the time nowadays) – he hardly smiles or thinks anything is amusing, especially Bob’s constant attempt to win over the crowd (Vaughn revisiting his SWINGERS persona once again). Meanwhile, the group has little to do but wait for something to happen until their car crashes into a scary looking beast – and they soon realizes aliens are "all around."

A subtle satire on the alien paranoia theme and a buddy flick (Vaughn and Stiller have the best anti-chemistry here), THE WATCH works despite the forced crude humor. Enough happens… including subplots about Evan’s marriage and Bob’s promiscuous teenage daughter… to keep the viewer entertained, as the direction works for suspenseful scenes involving aliens lurking in the night and, although the initial Alien discovery sequence, 11th hour group conversations and the climactic CGI standoff becomes somewhat draining, this is a worthwhile time waster with more to offer than punchlines.
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