Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: The Watch 'a little too silly'

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Alien defence rings a bell in The Watch. Featuring Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Richard Ayoade and Vince Vaughn. Photo / Supplied
Alien defence rings a bell in The Watch. Featuring Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Richard Ayoade and Vince Vaughn. Photo / Supplied

Last year, British director Joe Cornish gave the alien invasion genre a twist with his debut feature Attack the Block, about a gang of kids defending their council estate.

The Watch is like an American suburban take on this idea; featuring another gang of ill-equipped characters who defend their gentrified town. But though Attack the Block delivered surprisingly good entertainment, The Watch is just a little too silly.

This shouldn't be a surprise - this is after all a comedy staring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill.

Stiller is Evan, a do-gooder control freak who starts a neighbourhood watch group. But the only guys who sign up would rather hang out together, drink beer and tell tall stories. Though when they catch their first alien their priorities change - a little.

The Watch is happy to spoof and steal sci-fi ideas and cliches; though they do have an original idea about how to kill the aliens - a surprise I won't ruin.

Otherwise, it's more of the same loudmouth talk from Vaughn, irreverent humour from Hill, with Stiller happy to make a fool of himself with his uptight character. British actor Richard Ayoade adds a welcome touch of deadpan humour to proceedings.

The Watch pulls together many of the familiar big names in Hollywood comedy who churn out the same performances in similar films year in, year out. Which is fine if they make you laugh.

Unfortunately, The Watch isn't consistently funny enough to stop you noticing you've seen it all before.

Stars: 2.5/5
Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Running time: 103 mins
Rating: R16 (Violence, sexual references and offensive language)
Verdict: Mildly amusing sci-fi comedy.


- NZ Herald

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