The Watch


It came from outer space. Fnarr.


Originally called ‘Neighbourhood Watch’, The Watch was re-titled after the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by an armed volunteer.

Yet despite the studio’s desire to avoid controversy, this alien-invasion comedy can’t help but say something about confused US attitudes to gun crime.

Ben Stiller plays Evan, boss of the local Costco. When the store’s security guard is killed in gungey circumstances, Evan sets up a neighbourhood watch to investigate.

His recruits are loudmouth Bob (Vince Vaughn), divorced Brit Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) and police-force reject Franklin (Jonah Hill).

Much to Evan’s irritation, his team are more interested in male bonding than alien ass-kicking, as is the dialogue-heavy script. Co-written by Superbad’s Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, it’s an embarrassment of jizz jokes that enables comedy chemistry between Vaughn and Hill.

But Ayoade is the real success. Brit-com imports in US movies often feel like an anglophile whim too far, but with nerdy aplomb, Ayoade fits in by not fitting in at all.

When he gets his gun-totin’ slo-mo moment, you’ll feel a swell of patriotic pride.

Less effort has gone into a plot borrowed from Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers and the aliens are so lazily realised, the writers felt the need to take a pre-emptive pot-shot at their own lack of invention: “Had he just won a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award?” asks a character of one gooey green corpse.

The other targets are officious morons and the gun laws that arm them, yet The Watch culminates in a bullet orgy.

Where’s the line drawn between civic responsibility and bigoted vigilantism? Don’t ask the makers of The Watch. They clearly have no idea.


If you can ignore the disturbing parallels with recent events, this middle-aged, Middle-American Attack The Block raises a laugh.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • ChrisWootton

      Aug 20th 2012, 13:16

      Blimey sounds like a pile of s**t.. 3 stars just for Ayoade then? Suppose you have to keep him interested in writing for the mag

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    • JDogg1982

      Aug 27th 2012, 18:49


      Ah... Now I see how this is one of the unfuniest comedies ever made (Keith Lemon side), Seth Rogen had a hand in it. Surely he has made enough money on other c**p he has written/ produced/ starred in! The guy just has no talent! Saying that I am bored to the teeth of seeing Vaughn, Stiller and Hill play the same character in every film they are in. Not to mention the non-funny Ayoade. Highlight of the film was when myself and the other three punters in the screen walked out. Utter tosh!!

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    • jackstarr

      Sep 3rd 2012, 9:37


      don't believe the ripping this is getting, sure, it is a gross-out comedy but I really enjoyed it. It was fast-paced, fun, funny and Richard Ayoade was great... in fact, all the lead actors were great. It's far from perfect, but it's nothing but a fun time at the movies.

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    • Pearceyy96

      Sep 5th 2012, 10:44


      couldn't agree more with @jackstarr I loved this movie! And the action packed ending is terrific!!!

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    • thedanieljson

      Sep 10th 2012, 23:12

      Sounds far more like a two star review than a three.

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