The Watch: A BRILLIANT, FUNNY FILM AND A GREAT TIME

Ben Stiller as Evan
Vince Vaughn as Bob
Jonah Hill as Franklin
Richard Ayoade as Jamarcus
Out in theaters July 27

Mild-mannered, all-around good guy Evan (Ben Stiller) is the typical good neighbor: community organizer, member of the city council, and the manager of the local Costco.  He’s always there to lend a hand or organize a committee if needed.  He seems to have a good handle on life.  Things are going fine in his world until the night security guard at the Costco is brutally murdered.  Devastated, he appeals to the community that something should be done to catch the killer – he organizes a neighborhood watch program.  The only takers in this program are Bob (Vaughn), Franklin (Hill), and Jamarcus (Ayoade).

Bob is a family man with an absent working wife, who has his hands full caring for a teenage daughter. Franklin is a police academy reject looking to prove he’s a “bad-ass” and Jamarcus is a seemingly quiet, bookish young man, but very unexpectedly outspoken, especially when it comes to his desire for Asian women!  This rag tag group sets to the task of finding the murderer of the guard, only to find a lot more than they bargained for–the culprits are not of this world. It seems that this quiet peaceful little Ohio town is to become the base for a global extraterrestrial invasion.

It’s up to THE WATCH to stop it.

Going in, I knew there would be humor since we have reuniting, for the first time since Dodgeball, comedy veterans Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.  Jonah Hill (Get Him To The Greek, 21 Jumpstreet) is newer to the comedy film scene, but he’s had his moments.  My main reason for seeing this film was Richard Ayoade (pronounced ay-oh-wad-ay). British actor, director, and comedian, Richard is a new comer to American audiences. He’s known on British television, most notably for his role as Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd, and in other shows, such as The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.

In 2010, he made his feature film directorial debut with the indie coming-of-age comedy-drama Submarine, which was co-produced by Ben Stiller, and debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, then later made an appearance at Sundance. I thought that Richard’s soft-spoken and nerdish Jamarcus might get lost in the shuffle among his co-stars, but not so!  Richard’s comic timing and delivery is icing on a hilarious cake.  He has some of the best lines!

I was also pleased that this film went the route of adult humor instead of the teenage comedy that was originally on the books.  Seth Rogan, Jared Stone and Evan Goldberg were called to rework the story.  Even though there are some definite “bro” moments, The Watch is not another gross out, bodily function-driven comedy; it’s smart and funny.  I actually got kind of a little Ghostbusters type of vibe.  On the whole, this is a brilliant, funny film and a great time!  These four guys are a solid unit–a great fit–and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a sequel come along in the future.

5 out of 5 stars.

Check out the trailer for “The Watch” below:

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