If you (like me) were looking forward to the Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller neighborhood watch/alien invasion flick The Watch, then early reviews are likely to disappoint. Early reviews are in, and most critics weren’t exactly taken with the summer action comedy.
The Watch, titled Neighborhood Watch before the Trayvon Martin shooting, is basically a movie about how an over-enthusiastic (and armed) neighborhood watch group take on an alien invasion. It stars Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, and Vince Vaughn, all big names in comedy and guaranteed laugh-makers. The three form a trifecta – even if you don’t particularly care for one of them, the other two should pick up the slack. In theory. Unfortunately for The Watch, the formula doesn’t really work. The general consensus of the critics? The Watch sucked.
Justin Chang of Variety called the entire film a “lowbrow, lame-brained mash-up of buddies-on-patrol comedy and sci-fi actioner, held together (barely) by an endless string of penis jokes.”Stephen Holden of the New York Times called it a “ramshackle science-fiction comedy desperate for laughs,” quipping that it was likely “filmed on autopilot on a strict budget.”
The penis-joke criticism pops up elsewhere as well. Jake Coyle of the Associated Press said that The Watch had an “almost paint-by-numbers feeling to it” following “better films like Superbad and Pineapple Express.’” And “though many of the jokes land, some of them feel like a game of penis-related Mad Libs.” Betsy Sharkey of the LA Times concurred with the overuse of phallic jokes. “Never in the history of mankind has a movie been more phallic-ly fixated than The Watch,” she said. She did provide one concession: the non-penis jokes, however sparse, are able to “keep the laughs coming.”
Here’s the trailer for The Watch. Still going to see it? Critics notwithstanding?