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DVD Review: The Watch

November 20, 2012

The Watch – A 20th Century Fox Release

DVD Release Date: November 20th, 2012

Rated 18A for graphic violence and sexual content

Running time: 102 minutes

Akiva Schaffer (dir.)

Jared Stern (writer)

Seth Rogen (writer)

Evan Goldberg (writer)

Christophe Beck (music)

Ben Stiller as Evan

Vince Vaughn as Bob

Jonah Hill as Franklin

Richard Ayoade as Jamarcus

Our reviews below:


The Watch DVD Review By John C.

** (out of 4)

When a Costco security guard is murdered, Evan (Ben Stiller) starts the Neighbourhood Watch to try and catch the killer.  Family man Bob (Vince Vaughan), the disturbed Franklin (Jonah Hill) and the mysterious Jamarcus (Richard Ayode) all sign up to be a part of “the watch” and team up to go on stake outs around town as increasingly strange things start to happen.  As it turns out, their neighbourhood is actually under attack by aliens, who are invading Earth with the full intention of taking over the planet.

The handful of amusing moments that The Watch offers are few and far between, as the film generally squanders the talents of the cast with a wildly uneven screenplay filled with crude humour that feels like it was written by teenagers.  This is also surprisingly boring for a comedy about an alien invasion and the script falls completely flat in the few scenes when it tries to take the characters seriously, like a needless and weirdly out of place subplot about infertility.  Although The Watch is rated 18A for the gross out violence in the last act, those a few years younger than the intended rating are sure to get the most out of the crude humour of the film.

The Blu-ray includes “outrageous” deleted scenes, a gag reel and alternate takes with Jonah Hill as well as a couple of featurettes.


The Watch DVD Review By Erin V.  

*1/2 (out of 4)

In The Watch, Ben Stiller plays Evan, the manager of a local Costco.  When he finds out that aliens are using his store to try to take over the town he forms a neighbourhood watch with Bob (Vince Vaughan), Franklin (Jonah Hill), and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), and together they decide to get the bottom of it and stop the alien invasion.

The Watch is one of those comedies that takes a really good cast, gives them a terrible script, and turns into a bad movie.  The jokes aren’t particularly funny, and the whole thing just feels slow and boring at times – at least this could have gotten to the point faster.  It’s the kind of thing that could have had that ‘so bad it’s good’ amusement, but ultimately, it does not.


The Watch DVD Review By Nicole

** (out of 4)

The Watch is a mediocre comedy about four guys who must band together to fight an alien invasion in their neighbourhood.  When local Costco manager Evan (Ben Stiller) finds his new security guard mysteriously killed, he sets up a neighbourhood watch group with three of his neighbours (Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade) to investigate.  When they find out the truth, it leads to a video game type showdown at Costco.

The Watch could have been funny.  The four leads are great actors, but they can’t even save the film, as every one of the jokes revolve around male reproductive organs, which just isn’t funny past a certain age.  Anyone who wonders about the logic behind the neurology and reproduction of the aliens is going to be bored by the film.

While the original title Neighbourhood Watch was changed after the racism related murder of Trayvon Martin, the idea of four volunteers shooting up their neighbourhood is disturbing and insensitive.  The most disturbing scene involves young Franklin (Jonah Hill), as he proudly displays the arsenal of weapons that he keeps under his bed.  Considering all the recent gun crimes of the past year, I don’t find the idea of an at-risk young person keeping a firearm collection funny.


The Watch DVD Review By Maureen

** (out of 4)

They’re full of green slime and they’re attacking ordinary folk in Glenview, Ohio.  Good thing a group of like-minded guys decide to form a community watch and protect the good citizens and fight the slimy aliens.  The Watch stars four very funny guys.  Ben Stiller plays Evan, manager of the local Costco where a security guard is killed and slimed.  Vince Vaughn is Bob, a concerned single father of a teenage girl.  Jonah Hill is Franklin, a young man with a thing for weapons who is a police recruitment reject.  British actor Richard Ayoade plays Jamarcus, a recently divorced newcomer who feels he should help out.

You would think that with this many talented actors The Watch would be a very funny movie.  Well it is and it isn’t.  The humour tends to be juvenile and vulgar and if you’re in the mood for male anatomy jokes and a storyline that doesn’t tax the brain then the film does provide some entertainment.  Sometimes that’s all you want from a movie and that’s okay.

Check out The Watch if you like green slime or are big fans of any of the four lead actors, but the film is only mildly amusing at best.


The Watch DVD Review By Tony

*1/2 (out of 4)

The Watch features Ben Stiller as Evan, a small town big box store manager who starts up a neighbourhood watch when his night security guard is found dead. Evan is frustrated that his only recruits, Bob (Vince Vaughn), Franklin (Jonah Hill), and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), don’t take their roles seriously enough, until the invasion of alien body snatchers is at hand.

With a fine cast and writing team including Vancouver natives Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, The Watch should have been a good movie, but its middle school sophomoric humour gets in the way of a script whose twists in the end are not worth the effort. This is the first feature directed by Aviva Schaffer, whose experience to date has been limited to TV sketches, but even a more seasoned hand might not have been able to save it.


Consensus: Although The Watch has a very talented cast led by Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, the film generally wastes their talents with a screenplay made up of crude humour and gross out gags.  *3/4 (Out of 4)

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