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Hollywood Product: The Watch

Ben Stiller adds an alien tale to the prick flick genre



GENRE: Sci-fi comedy

THE PITCH: A horrific crime causes mild-mannered Costco Manager Evan (Ben Stiller) to mobilize a neighborhood watch to patrol the streets hoping to catch the perpetrator. His only recruits are his neighbors Bob (Vince Vaughn), an overprotective father, Franklin (Jonah Hill) a thirty-something cop wannabe, and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), a socially awkward Brit new to the neighborhood just trying to make friends. Their misadventures on patrols uncover an unimaginable truth - their sleepy suburban town has been overrun by aliens and its up to the four of them to put a stop to a full scale invasion.

MONEY SHOT: The climactic battle between the two species. Imagine a handful of humans going all out, doing whatever it takes to stop the aliens from completing their final plan to take over the Earth. Without revealing too much, its safe to say Costco will never be looked at the same again.

BEST LINE: Jamarcus explains to the group why he decided to join the night watch. "Uh, I have this fantasy where a lonely, single Asian woman calls the watch because she hears something ... and I come to investigate and when I arrive she asks me if she can suck my balls."

WORST LINE: Evan fired up after learning aliens have a particular interest in the Costco store he manages arms up and says, "Costco is for members only."

BEHIND THE MUSIC: A revved up Franklin excited on becoming famous after discovering the aliens says, "The baritone from Boyz II Men quit the group because he got so much pussy," referring to singer Nathan Morris of the aforementioned R&B group, but I think he's actually referring to the quartet's bass Michael McCary who left the group in 2003 due to health issues.

BODY COUNT: Number of humans killed - four. Number of aliens killed - what starts out as a few turns into quite a bit more but to reveal that number would be too much of a spoiler. Lets just say it's an extremely significant number.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT: Costco is the most significant brand you see. Its where Evan works and the aliens really appreciate the store's large variety of products. While on patrol, they guys of the neighborhood watch like to sip on cans of Budweiser. Costco night watchman Antonio (Joe Nunez) knows how to have a good time after hours, he grabs a six pack of Coca-Cola, grabs a bottle of Smirnoff Vodka and a bag of Bugles snacks.

BOTTOM LINE: I know a script was written, but with Watch, it hardly feels like it. There's so many moments throughout the film where the actors are just improvising, making more dick jokes than any movie should. It creates some genuine chuckles but gets a bit old as the below-the-belt yuks just don't let up. Stiller and Vaughn are predictable in their roles as the uptight husband and boisterous father respectively, but the true gems are the surprising transformation of Hill and the American debut of Ayoade. Hill's slimmer, trimmer bad boy is refreshing and a bit unexpected, but his awkward juvenile personality eventually bubbles to the surface. Fans of The IT Crowd and The Mighty Boosh will instantly fall into Ayoade's raunchy, quirky brand of humor and mannerism. The four comedic actors play well together and its that chemistry that makes the Watch work more so than this simplistic uninteresting plot.

Related Film

The Watch

Official Site:

Director: Akiva Schaffer

Writer: Jared Stern, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Justin Theroux

Producer: Shawn Levy and Michael Ewing

Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade and Rosemarie DeWitt

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