Tuesday, November 20, 2012

THE WATCH (2012)

Directed By: Akiva Schaffer Written By: Jared Stern, Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg Cinematography By: Barry Peterson Editor: Dean Zimmerman Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Rosemarie DeWitt, Will Forte, Richard Ayoade, Nicholas Braun, R. Lee Ermey, Doug Jones, Erin Moriarty David Dobkin was originally going to direct with Will Ferrell in the leading role, but the duo fell out in summer 2009. In Glenview, Ohio, Evan is the manager of the department store Costco and married with Abby. When the Costco night watchman Antonio Guzman is mysteriously murdered, Evan organizes The Neighborhood Watch, a watch team with his suburban neighbors Bob, Franklin and Jamarcus to protect the neighborhood and find the killer of Antonio. Soon they discover that the murderer is an alien that is preparing to invade Earth, and they become the last hope of mankind on Earth. There is the old saying if it seems to good to be true it usually is. This film is a good example of that. You have all star comedic talent on display and they really have nothing to work with so they go to their already well worn comedic tics. That we have seen before but quickly get played out in this film. I realize the actors weren’t exactly given the best material and storyline to work with. The film reeks of cashing in paychecks. It also feels like a lot of the material is being made up as the film goes along. Like the scenes and situations were decided then the actors were just given room to make up stuff on the spot. That is how disjointed the film feels. The lack of suspense and anything shocking is a problem. if you already can predict what will happen and are correct. What real fun is there other then maybe remembering when the actors you are watching were funny and good. One of the problems is that the actors all are beginning to suffer from the same thing that I feel is really a problem with it’s main star Ben stiller. He has talent but he seems to have gotten so comfortable taking roles that really could have been played by anyone. He brings name and talent but seems to sleepwalk through his roles. So that while there is energy in his performances there is really little to no effort. It is starting to show with him, Vince Vaughn and even Jonah hill and he is a newcomer. They really need to show range and excitement or at least step out of their comfort zones more. To bring back that joy that can be infectious for the audience. IT’s nice to see Richard Ayoade in a big movie but he is particularly wasted and given very little to do in a role he won over Chris tucker. Who none the less would have fit into this overblown type of film. While this is an obvious Crowd pleasing popcorn film there is a particular type of sadness that hangs over this film as so much money I spent on it. Yet it’s so by the numbers and predictable their is nothing exciting or shocking or particularly fun in the film. So it just feels dull. While there is room for some chuckles it feels like an empty experience. It’s not defined by story or situations but more by the audiences knowledge of the actors comic personeas and their characters reactions to situations. It also seems that with movies like these they have huge budgets that are all spent on the stars and effects, yet still look like they take place on soundstages and sets. They feel so small since their aren’t that many locations and the ones that are used feels so small. The film might as well be an indie film. I really wanted to enjoy this as a guilty pleasure, but i could barely find any joy to be had watching this film. I might be wrong and you out their might enjoy it and there would be nothing wrong with that. It’s just to me while I wasn’t expecting much. I was expecting better than this. Maybe i’ve seen too many films. Maybe it’s because I am a fan of all involved and feel a huge let down. For such a simplistic movie that seems more at home for teenagers. The film is rated R mostly for language. Though there is one scene that is pretty raunchy and racy that seems to come out of nowhere that could have worked even if they toned it down. The extra raunch while interesting really doesn’t add anything to the film. It felt as if the film could have been rated R and then that scene would be in the unrated version of the film. I’m glad I didn’t see this film in the theater as I don’t think it would help the enjoyment of the film. The failure of this film hurts even more besides the cast is that it was Written By Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who i am big fans of. Skip It. GRADE: F

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