The Watch

by Karin McKie

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday November 13, 2012

The Watch

"The Watch" was originally named "Neighborhood Watch" but Fox changed the name after the Trayvon Martin shooting gave the organization a bad name. The film was also released a week after the Colorado movie theater shooting, so the project withered under real world gun violence.

Just as well. Guns populate "The Watch" too, as comedic phallic symbols when real dicks aren't being referenced or discussed ad nauseam. It's no surprise that the script sprung, minimally formed, from the loins of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jared Stern, and resides in the crotches of the leads: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, and Doug Jones's "Alien"-rip-off alien.

The 100-minute movie is a merely a platform for mumblecore mavens Vaughn and Hill to riff about all things below the belt. The movie's DP and editor must be exhausted after sifting through all the tossed-off takes that might have cracked up the crew, but are too rapid-fire and tired to float this film.

As the lead Evan, Stiller is his usual earnestly stuttering everydude, funny yet frustrated. His own "weapon" is firing blanks, but instead of dealing with his impotency, he throws himself into creating jogging and Spanish clubs in his generic Ohio suburb, and managing a Costco.

When Evan's night watchman is murdered, he forms a "task force of concerned citizens," which Vaughn's concerned dad Bob interprets as an excuse to sip suds in his man cave, Hill's wannabe cop Franklin as a "vigilante squad/militia," and black Brit Ayoade's Jamarcus as a "way to get my balls sucked by an Asian woman." The bromantic foursome end up battling alien intruders (and indicting big-box retailers) by stealing scenes from "Weekend at Bernie's" and from every testosterone-fueled shoot-em-up. (The movie's best scene is the gun-happy over-shooting of their first kill.)

Although the actors are allowed to showboat, the DVD extras are few, including some flaccid deleted scenes, the limp mockumentary "Casting the Alien," and the aptly-named gag reel. "The Watch" is appropriately alienating and sophomoric, but has its chuckles - alien slime is likened to Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award Show green goop (which, of course, "feels like cum"), and all the men, terrestrial or extra, indeed have their brains in their pants. But will it be a lasting piece of dick shtick? Not on my watch.

"The Watch"



Karin McKie is a writer, educator and activist at