This summer has been a heatwave of super hero films, making comedies scarce these past few months. So with The Watch’s line up of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and our own British comedian/actor, Richard Ayoade; do we finally have our laughs by the bucket load all in one film? I went to watch The Watch men... err not that film.
Stiller leads the comedic quartet as Evan Trautwig, yes you read that correctly, the perfect community do-gooder in his happy suburb with a job he loves as Manager at the local Costco. When a fellow worker dies gruesomely, Evan promises to find the killer. How? By setting up a neighbourhood watch. The turn out’s lousy, three attendees; including loud mouth Bob (Vaughn) also tackling teenage daughter problems, cop wanna-be Franklin (Hill) who has his own issues; with himself and the quiet, recently divorced Jamarcus (Ayoade).
Usual comedy ensues as Evan endeavours to get the mismatched group to take their roles seriously, whilst the others just want an excuse for a lads’ night and to wear some super cool neighbourhood watch team jackets. As strange scenarios unfold, the group bonds and in investigating a disturbance one night it’s soon discovered the attacker is an alien; so with the local police mostly mocking them they can only trust themselves.
With usual partners in crime, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, along with Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen (Rogen also contributed to the screenplay); it’s a good slice of American funny guys. Add to the mix our own wonderful Richard Ayoade from the IT crowd and Mighty Boosh, but more recently from directing acclaimed movie Submarine. So have we been treated to comedy gold? No. The result though is not as funny as it should be. Stiller and Vaughn play the usual roles with Hill and Ayoade playing the best characters. Ayoade plays some great comedy moments but isn’t utilised as much as he could have been. Whilst some good gags ensue it doesn’t capture the comedic creativity of Dodgeball or Superbad that we know and love these guys for. There are also some funny smaller roles with the likes of Billy Crudup’s suspicious neighbour and Will Forte’s strange policeman.
The films marketed as a sci-fi comedy, with extra money plunged into it for the special affects and aliens, which look good, but it’s the comedy and comediennes that you pay to see not the sci-fi. For fans of any of the four comedians it’s worth a viewing, with Hill and Ayoade having good fun with their characters’ but the overall result doesn’t beat the prior classics of Ben Stiller and Seth Rogen. I do hope this opens up more opportunities for Ayoade and Hill’s performance certainly intrigues me for his future role in Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
The Watch official website