Akiva Schaffer, director of ‘Hot Rod’, presents to you: The Watch, starring Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn and that nerdy dude from ‘The IT Crowd’.
Yes, this is indeed the introduction that makes you want to look for the nearest exit, but surprisingly enough ‘The Watch’ manages to be entertaining.
Ben Stiller plays Evan, a manager of Costco, who decides to start a neighbourhood watch when he finds his nightguard killed by an unknown burglar.
Evan is the kind of guy we’ve all seen in our neighbourhood, starting 1001 initiatives like the running club, the miniature cars collectors club and more. A local guy who loves being the local guy.
He starts a campaign to get people interested in his latest club, the watch, and soon finds 3 participants in the form of Bob (Vince Vaughn), Frank (Jonah Hill) and Jamarcus(Richard Ayoade).
What you see is what you get with this, so Vince Vaughn is being Vaughn and Hill is being Hill and Ayoade is basically Maurice from ‘The IT Crowd’ joining a neighbourhood watch.
With this setup I was expecting a by the numbers comedy and yes, in some parts it is. But it’s the fun that the actors must have had while making this, that shows in the final 102 minute movie we get to see.
The jokes, while some are cheap, are fun and I for one still think of Vaughn as one of the better comedians of his time. Stiller plays it by the numbers with a mixture of his ‘Meet the Parents’ character and his usual ‘Stiller self. Which leaves me with the last big lead of the movie: Jonah Hill.
A lot has been said about his comedic abilities and there seems to be only 2 sorts of people, those who love him and those who hate him. If I try to look at him from a professional standpoint, then yes, the guy does manage to pull of a somewhat similar character about 22 times per year. Yet, in a movie like Moneyball or Cyrus he delivers as well. I think he’s got a lot going for him and I think he made a great counterweight for the Vaughn/Stiller duo. With a huge slate of movies coming out with him in the next year or so (Django Unchained, The Wolf of Wall Street and Good Time Gang to name a few) I think more people will appreciate him over time.
Richard Ayoade is probably, to most, the odd one out. Being a celebrity in Britain for his role on the sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’ he finally gets a chance to show a larger audience how funny he can be, and then he doesn’t take it. His part is easily the most lazy thing about the script, it’s like the producers said ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if we had Maurice in there from the IT Crowd?’ because it’s exactly the same part. Having said all that, the whole alien invasion angle is played out quite well, and with that much comedic talent (even though they all had their box office bombs) it is bound to entertain audiences at some point or another.
We get a few nice setups and even though the twists are seen coming from a mile away, there are plenty of moments which will have you laughing. Think of this movie as a good way to spend a rainy saturdaynight. If you feel any love for one of the leads in this, add another 0,5 point to the score!
The Watch is more fun than it should be, and that’s a fact speaking in it’s favor.