Tagline: Got protection?
To say that The Watch has had a troubled birth from page to screen is an understatement. Originally titled Neighborhood Watch, the title was changed in the aftermath of the events surrounding Trayvon Martin.
And so with real-life affairs tangentially making an impact on the studio, could it end up affecting box office takings? The story finds four regular suburban guys, who meet up once a week as an opportunity to do something different from their mundane lives. Who are they? Why, only Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, a group who surely knows as much about raising a laugh as anyone in this business we call show.
The plot is utterly ludicrous: An alien invasion of Earth is taking place from headquarters in a basement beneath a Costco. And if you’re curious as regards the location – let’s face it, the store can’t have cropped up in too many movies down the years – the reason is both funny and practical. Aliens, as well as humans, you see, can locate everything they could ever need under the store’s roof.
But will the critics find everything they need from The Watch? Roger Ebert isn’t convinced. “It’s so determined to be crude, vulgar and offensive that after a while I grew weary,” he concludes. “Abbott and Costello used to knock out funnier movies on this exact intellectual plane without using a single F, S, C, P or A word.” The San Jose Mercury-News takes a kinder view on the language employed: “it’s that vulgar, in-your-face humor that makes The Watch hysterical” but that it’s “also tiresome.” And our own Richard Corliss brings us all down to earth, when discussing the male leads, and how these are “the men who misplaced their usual intelligence for comedy when they made this unwatchable botch.”