“The Watch” could have been – should have been – a terrific movie. The project assembled some great comic talent – Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade, as four suburbanites who happen to stumble onto an alien plot to take over the world.
But reviews for the movie, filmed in metro Atlanta, indicate “The Watch” is a movie you won’t want to watch.
“(D)irector Akiva Schaffer and the trio of screenwriters … fill the R-rated movie with glimpses of raunchy sex, Stiller’s character’s anxiety over his infertility, old men using the f-word and guys talking about their genitalia; it’s as if there wasn’t enough money to show us the aliens very often, so they needed to kill time,” a Seattle Times reviewer wrote.
“Rote, crass and worst of all, totally laugh-free,” observed a Gatehouse News Service review titled “The Watch” is Unwatchable.”
“The Watch’ ranks among career lows not only for its stars (including Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill), writers (among them Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg) and director (Akiva Schaffer, who gave us the underrated Andy Samberg vehicle “Hot Rod”) but also for Costco, which plays a key role in the movie,” said the Chicago Tribune in a review subtitled, “You’ll be looking at your watch.”
By the way Samberg appears in a very brief (very brief) cameo in “The Watch” but his talents are criminally wasted here. Everyone’s were, really. Clever lines pop up here and again but are swamped by all the needlessly gross and seriously unfunny segments.
We were prepared to cheer “The Watch” on as an unabashed homer. The movie’s key Costco scenes were filmed at a former BJ’s Warehouse Club store in Norcross. The residential scenes took place in West Cobb and a high school football scene was filmed in Smyrna. The opening moments of the scene showed our beloved Marietta Square, looking lovely as ever, with Stiller’s character paying homage to his hometown (not Marietta in the movie, but whatever) as the greatest city ever.
But as the reviewers point out, “The Watch” is hard to watch. To be honest it was sort of depressing to see such comic talent on the screen wasting their time with endless lame jokes about bodily fluids. For an R-rated movie, it seemed squarely aimed at 14-year-olds.
We took in an advance screening of “The Watch,” accompanied by a friend whose family’s home was featured in the movie.
“Well, there’s an hour and a half of your life you’ll never see again,” she said as the credits rolled.
Sadly, we agree.
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org