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Film Review – The Watch

Director: Ariva Schaffer
Screenplay: Seth Rogen, Jared Stern, Evan Goldberg
Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Will Forte, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mel Rodriguez
Genre: Sci-fi comedy
Rating:******    
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 4

The surburb of Glenview, Ohio is under an alien invasion in the movie ‘The Watch’. Four guys who are tired of their day to day routine form a neighbourhood watch as a way to diverting some of their energy to something more challenging than the roles they play in their families. Ben Stiller (Evan), Vince Vaughn (Bob), Jonah Hill (Franklin) and Richard Ayoade (Jamarcus) play ghost busters and alien killers in this R-rated comedy.
Originally titled ’The Neighbourhood Watch’ the film is loosely based on friendless Evan who is a manager of a wholesale store, Costco. Evan spends his time creating clubs as some form of fulfilment for his inability to give his wife Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) children. One morning Evan goes to his store and finds one of his night guards dead and skinless, an event which prompts him to start a neighbourhood watch together with the wannabe cop Franklin, the eccentric Bob and the nerdy and weird but soft spoken British national Jamarcus who just wants to use the opportunity of being part of a neighbourhood watch to fulfil his sexual fantasies.
Being the leader of the neighbourhood watch proves difficult for Evan as his partners all have their own ideas of what is supposed to take place during their meetings and stakeouts. Bob has a man cave that distracts the quartet from serious stuff. However the three do manage to get Evan to loosen up and the adventure begins. Enter local policeman Sergeant Bressman (Will Forte) who torments the neighbourhood watch at every chance he gets. Bressman changes his ways when he witnesses the aliens and has a near death experience and loses his partner Chucho (Mel Rodriguez) in an attack.
During one of their stakeouts the guys discover an alien device and instead end up using it as a toy. They have lots of fun blowing up farm animals, tractors and grass. With cheerful profanities and gross-out gags the film just has the right balance of humor and action, and although most of the lines in the film are really silly they are also really catchy. I have never really been a Ben Stiller fan, I have always thought of him as an over the top actor. In this movie Stiller is not playing the usual comedic role but is serious, which makes the film even more hilarious. One can’t help but laugh when Stiller tries to be serious in the movie. It is like he has this stern face with a little curl on his lips as if he is about to burst into cackles. A mixture of uneasy and somewhat gruesome sci-fi scenes and gross gags makes it definitely one of those laugh out loud comedies with a brilliant cast despite the vulgar language.
A must see scene is when an alien comes out of one o the policemen’s bodies and pushes out his heart in the process. His partner Sergeant Bressman tries by all means to bring his friend back to life by pushing back the dismembered heart and performing CPR as he screams don’t leave me Chucho, come on Chucho you can make it. Looking at the heart is gross but the actions of Bressman are really hilarious.
There is good chemistry between the cast as they manage to play off each others characters with great ease. Stiller playing a sincere and sympathetic guy only ends up being hilarious, and Will Forte also makes a great contribution to the humor in the film. Overall ‘The Watch’ is not your typical Ben Stiller movie, this one is classic and will stay alive for years to come as it is really a must watch.

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