With all the talk and conspiracies about the world ending, it probably doesn’t help that there is another film about aliens invading Earth and taking over. The Watch exceeds expectations and proves to be one wild adventure filled with thrills and laughs. It is sure to entertain.
Ben Stiller plays Evan, a stereotypical suburban husband living in Ohio, who forms a neighborhood watch group after his friend is grotesquely murdered. After his initial recruiting campaign, he is soon joined by Bob (Vince Vaughn), a suburban father who is trying to monitor his teenage daughter’s dating life; Franklin (Jonah Hill), a police force reject with emotional problems; and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), who is just tagging along.
At first, the neighborhood watch is an excuse for the four guys to escape from their quiet suburban lives. But when they discover that there is an alien invasion about to happen, which would destroy the entire planet, the four decide to save their neighborhood—and the world.
The screenplay of this R-rated sci-fi comedy was co-written by Seth Rogen, Jared Stern, and Evan Goldberg. While the plotline isn’t the most original, it thankfully doesn’t fall into clichés or rely on slapstick humor.
The best and most commendable qualities of the film are the dynamic performances by the core four actors. None of them is overshadowed by the others, and they bring their own best comedic chops to their respective roles.
Stiller fits right in as an uptight, rule-abiding citizen. Vaughn nails it as an adventurous father struggling to stay connected to his daughter, and he carries a strong comedic presence. Hill channels more of a serious bad-boy as Franklin, and Ayoade is quirky but doesn’t need to say much to make the audience laugh.Appearances by other familiar faces of comedy, including Will Forte and Andy Samberg, definitely bring more entertaining moments to the film.
Director Akiva Schaffer delivers the perfect balance of story, drama, humor, and science fiction. The Watch is not only hilarious but also unexpectedly cleverly written—aside from its bawdy content—and will delight a broader audience than it probably initially targeted.
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Will Forte, Rosemarie DeWitt
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rating: R for some strong sexual content including references, pervasive language, and violent images
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