Film Review: Ben Stiller in ‘The Watch’ Needs a Better Mechanism

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CHICAGO – Star studded, special effects ladened “comedies” featuring aliens should have been put to rest after last year’s “Paul.” But “The Watch” is here, and it features Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and an odd Richard Ayoade as four suburban neighborhood watch volunteers who end up hunting space men. Yep, right after “Paul.” Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

What could have been a more pungent satire on suburbia, consumerism and lives of desperation becomes a Stiller/Vaughn/Hill romp, as they follow their movie personas yet again in a barely stitched together plot. There are moments that are farcical, and it does built a little steam by the end, but It suffers from having felt like it’s been seen before. Like last year’s “Tower Heist” – also anchored by Stiller – these star comedies tend to sputter and run out of gas.

Ben Stiller is Evan, a clean living suburban man who is addicted to signing people up to do stuff. He is also the manager of the local Costco, and is married to Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt). When a security guard at the store is killed in spectacular fashion, Evan recruits fellow neighbors to start a watch patrol, despite naysaying from the local policeman Bressman (Will Forte). Evan ends up with only three volunteers, trigger-happy Franklin (Jonah Hill), man cave advocate Bob (Vince Vaughn) and a freaky new townsperson, Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade).

The four new watchmen initially clash, but learn to bond together when they discover a not-of-this-world weapons device, and evidence that there are lifeforms that have infiltrated the town and know how to use it. This opens up a whole new range of fears, including which aliens may be disguised as normal citizens. When the police are no help, who are you gonna call? It could be “The Watch-ers.”

“The Watch” opens everywhere on July 27th. Featuring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt, R. Lee Ermey and Will Forte. Screenplay by Seth Rogen, Jared Stern and Evan Goldberg. Directed by Akiva Schaffer. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Watch”

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade
Franklin (Jonah Hill), Evan (Ben Stiller), Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) and Bob (Vince Vaughn) in ‘The Watch’
Photo credit: Melinda Sue Gordon for Twentieth Century Fox

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Watch”

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