Director: Akiva Schaffer
Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill
I find myself enjoying many more idiotic comedies these days than I used to. And I'm not sure what to attribute that to. I'm definitely watching more as a critic, sitting down to see movies I might not have ever given a chance to before. But I'm also lowering my expectations a little, which might be helping. That's not to say that I'm lowering my taste level, or that I'm all of a sudden wallowing in awful movies every time I step into the theatre. But I do give these throwaway comedies more of an opportunity to amuse me, allowing myself to laugh at penis jokes that might not be incredibly original or appropriate, but are at the very least irreverent attempts at humor that hold nothing back. The same can be said about The Watch; it's a ridiculous film filled with juvenile jokes that are neither clever nor wonderful, but it's got one thing going for it; it doesn't care. Yes it's stupid, yes there are too many sex jokes, yes Vince Vaughn & Jonah Hill are annoying, but so what, the movie works anyway as long as you don't expect much & aren't offended by semen.
Evan is your typical upper-middle class Ohioan. He's got a solid managerial job at Costco, a nice house, a beautiful wife, and he's in charge of many local clubs. Things are going great, until his friend Antonio is murdered right in Costco, Evan's home turf. In order to find the killer, Evan starts the Neighborhood Watch, a civil group that will shut down any potential crime wave. Unfortunately the only people interested in joining aren't as fervent as Evan to defeat evil; Bob the party guy, Franklin the angry youngster, and Jamarcus the lonely Brit. The squad begin surveillance to track down Antonio's killer, much to the annoyance of local police. But what happens next is something that no one could have predicted. Apparently aliens are coming to this sleepy Midwest town, and it's up to The Watch to protect the neighborhood.
How much you enjoy this movie will depend upon your tolerance level. Mine is increasing as I watch more and more of this genre, but you'd better come prepared for some over-the-top idiocy and non-stop vulgarity. You'll need to love slapstick, penis humor, peeing in empty beer cans, exploding cows; basically things 16-year-old boys laugh at. Can you channel enjoyment for that kind of comedy? Can you stand 90 minutes of Stiller, Vaughn, & Hill? Combined?! Then maybe you can get through this film. It is funny, don't get me wrong, there are a ton of shocking jokes that had me laughing out loud. The plot is simple, it's silly, it's a good time, and the comedy is continuous. But it's not for everyone. I might not have liked it a couple years back, I might have found it just stupid, not amusingly stupid. So come prepared, but give it a chance.
My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
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