Here come the men in blue.
Regular Saturday Night Live contributor and Lonely Island band member Akiva Schaffer made his directorial debut in 2007 with his thoroughly entertaining indie comedy Hot Rod. His follow up release The Watch sees high profile comedy stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughan, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade as four men who form a neighbourhood watch alliance to protect their small suburban town, but soon find themselves defending Earth from an enormous alien invasion.
Working within Hollywood’s contemporary comedic sphere it comes as little surprise that Schaffer has made acquaintance with the bumbling irritant Seth Rogan. Having remarkably garnered success as an actor, his most recent works have been more centred on writing and producer roles. After his previous disappointment, The Green Hornet, Rogan returns with another script (alongside co-writers Jay Stern and Evan Goldberg) with The Watch.
Rogan’s familiar stink permeates the project from the moment it begins. Despite the brief highlights when the comedy is more clever and innocent, it’s not before long that it descends into predictable vulgarity, crudeness and borderline offensive humour.
Thankfully, there’s an interesting high concept at the heart of the narrative that helps overcome the lacking comedy. The Watch is billed as an ensemble comedy film within a science fiction narrative and it delivers. 21 Jump Street meets Super 8, but sadly it’s not nearly as good as either. The film begins with some genuine laughs, an interesting idea and nice characters, but the overall product will leave audiences with a bitter sense that something is severely lacking.
The Watch is completely predictable, plain, daft, occasionally funny, but more than anything else frustratingly fun. It’s entertainment, but nothing more.