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Reviews: Made-in-Atlanta movie “The Watch” is hard to watch

It was depressing to see comic actors this talented waste their time on such a dumb movie.

It was depressing to see comic actors this talented waste their time on such a dumb movie.

“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 Buzz/jbrett@ajc.com

54 comments Add your comment

Crew

August 2nd, 2012
10:29 am

Agreed – worked on the movie the entire 4 month set. So much talent, was alot funnier while it was being filmed…

Wendy

August 2nd, 2012
10:41 am

Saw it last night and actually enjoyed it. Had several laughs. It definitely was Jonah Hill’s best, but Vince Vaughn was spot on.

Steve

August 2nd, 2012
10:46 am

Normally I have a rule; never pay money to see ANYTHING with Stiller or Vaughn in it. My wife and I went to this movie because a girl at work and her daughter were extras and we hoped to get a glimps of them on the big screen. The movie was so bad we forgot why we were there and found ourselves looking at our watch hoping it would get better. Sadly it does not.
Movies and music are a lot alike, not all will make you feel happy. Some are made to make you feel sad, some make you sick to your stomach (on purpose) and some scare you. This movie made me feel nothing but ripped off for spending that much of my life on a movie that bad.
Note to self: NEVER BREAK FIRST RULE!!!

FM Fats

August 2nd, 2012
11:07 am

The talent was underrated? I think you mean underutilized, don’t you?
Somebody I know who worked on the film indicated to me during filming that it was a train wreck.

Jennifer Brett

August 2nd, 2012
11:21 am

FM – yes you’re correct. Sorry. I had a traumatic flashback to the scene in which Samberg appears and it momentarily crippled my grasp of vocabulary. If you had seen in (which I DO NOT recommend, in case that was unclear!) you would understand I promise.

:)

Jennifer

admiral

August 2nd, 2012
11:31 am

Well, this is vintage AJC: a “review” that is actually just a collection of pull quotes from other reviews. Brilliant.

Oh, and this movie looks stupid.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

always the same

August 2nd, 2012
11:34 am

“great comic talent”????
everyone of those comic/actor/whatever they are, have happened to be in multiple hit films.
but I know a bunch of people who waste their money on most of their films (turning it into a hit due to dollars spent) and walk away saying “why did I do that?”.
they’ve all just been in about one decent or really funny movie each.
stiller plays the same character in every one of his movies. kind of like adam sandler, who plays the same goofy character in every one of his movies. ditto for vince vaughn.
basically they’ve made a name for themselves off of playing their goofy parts in one movie that had many, many laughs, but are now lucky to get five minutes of laughs out of a two hour “comedy”.

david c

August 2nd, 2012
11:34 am

Is this really news to anyone?

?

August 2nd, 2012
11:36 am

These guys play the same goofy parts in all their movies…..VERY OLD and BORING.
Add Sandler to the list

always the same

August 2nd, 2012
11:38 am

Sandler milks the same character in every one of his movies and so do these guys…..lucky to get 2 laughs out of all of their movies combined now.

always the same

August 2nd, 2012
11:41 am

“great comic talents”??? I beg to differ.

who pays for this junk?

August 2nd, 2012
11:45 am

whoever this guy Ayoade is, he’d be better off distancing himself from the typecasts of his fellow “actors” in this movie.

FM Fats

August 2nd, 2012
11:57 am

Always happy to help with the editing. :)

Devildog

August 2nd, 2012
12:22 pm

Instead of Stiller and Vaughn, Atlantans could have seen the premier of “Dark Child,” a movie made here by Stone Mountain author Travis Hunter. The movie was based on one of his books (he has authored several).

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

BigAintheBigA

August 2nd, 2012
12:33 pm

More dreck from the usual suspects. The aforementioned 14 year-olds and their intellectual counterparts (college students) are the demo that keep these people employed churning out this bilge. Thanks for the heads up! Hollywood in general pretty much stinks these days.

Matt Ryan's Dad

August 2nd, 2012
12:42 pm

It wasn’t the funniest movie I’ve ever seen, but it wasn’t as bad as everyone is saying. I agree with Ms. Brett that the movie seemed to be aimed at 14 year old humor. That said, it wasn’t bad enough to be looking at your watch. My wife and I enjoyed it so maybe our humor hasn’t evolved since middle school…

Fran

August 2nd, 2012
12:43 pm

And thanks to your tax money, they were able to make it on the cheap here so it will still be profitable!

Lukas

August 2nd, 2012
12:50 pm

Has Vince Vaughn (or Owen Wilson for that matter) EVER made a decent movie? They keep making these silly, stupid movies . . Which is a shame for Vaughn because he could do some decent dramatic parts . . but now he is just known for this kind of BS.

John

August 2nd, 2012
1:00 pm

Lukas – check out Swingers or Made. Vaughn’s earliest and best movies.

yo mama

August 2nd, 2012
1:34 pm

jennifer, maybe at some point in your journalism career you will stop being a cheerleader and just “do your job!”-critique, critique jennifer.

if you continue to do homer articles, you will continue to look like a fool. the la times doesn’t do articles about where scenes were shot for movies. who cares.

your stuff comes off amateurish. seriously!

A Boy Named Sue

August 2nd, 2012
1:36 pm

I agree with you, John — Swingers is money, baby.

oydave

August 2nd, 2012
1:37 pm

“And thanks to your tax money, they were able to make it on the cheap here so it will still be profitable!”

oydave

August 2nd, 2012
1:41 pm

“And thanks to your tax money, they were able to make it on the cheap here so it will still be profitable!”

No it didn’t cost you a dime of your tax money. You need to learn how tax incentives work. Absent the tax deal for movie makers, that money never would have come here. But since we have the deal, they did come here and spend beau coup big bucks.

LawDawg

August 2nd, 2012
1:48 pm

“Normally I have a rule; never pay money to see ANYTHING with Stiller or Vaughn in it”

HA! That is definitely a good rule for anything in the last 10-15 years other than Anchorman, Old School, and Wedding Crashers.

Dish Customer

August 2nd, 2012
2:11 pm

“Normally I have a rule; never pay money to see ANYTHING with Stiller or Vaughn in it.”

My rule includes Will Ferrell, Roseanne Barr and Tom Cruise in that group. They’re the Wait-For-Dish-To-Air-It Five as far as I’m concerned.

urban redneck

August 2nd, 2012
2:30 pm

he spit in the c… c…..cooler.

Fun Size

August 2nd, 2012
2:34 pm

I have an even better rule….don’t pay money to watch ANYTHING in the movie theater!! Save your $$$ and wait for it to come to DVD or TV! The commercials for the movie looked lame, so the finished product should be no surprise. At least they had fun in ATL and helped the economy a little while filming…

Fran

August 2nd, 2012
2:34 pm

@oydave I think you need to learn how it works. We refunded a ton of money so some studio could cheaply make a crappy comedy. We don’t recoup that money through restaurants and hotels so don’t pretend that it does. Georgia is just trying to look cool.

Big fan of Lyndsey Marie's "talents" (both of them)

August 2nd, 2012
2:54 pm

Did anyone see larry wachs naked in the movie?

BLAH

August 2nd, 2012
2:56 pm

I can’t think of a single Stiller film that was funny.

Marshall Stacks

August 2nd, 2012
3:00 pm

You can spend an evening watching Richard Ayoade in “The I.T. Crowd” on Netflix and have a much better time than sitting through this film…

Rod

August 2nd, 2012
3:29 pm

Hey, check this out .. we were right, made in georgia and in Cobb County, West Cobb and Smyrna football field…lol..

I knew it !

Rod

August 2nd, 2012
3:29 pm

Hey, check this out .. we were right, made in georgia and in Cobb County, West Cobb and Smyrna football field…lol.. Even the Marietta Square was in this one.

I knew it !

Debra

August 2nd, 2012
3:34 pm

My husband and I saw the previews for this movie when we went to see another movie (either The Avengers or Prometheus). It started with a red “rating warning” instead of the usual green. Then we were treated to several stupid, unfunny bits from the movie, most using what George Carlin used to refer to as the “7 words you can never say on television”. I was appalled because I knew there were small children in the theater with their parents, who had no way of stopping the filth. I have never seen a preview that was so offensive. I live in GA and if they had filmed the movie in my back yard, I wouldn’t go see it. Ben Stiller has never impressed me and watching a movie with him in it is less entertaining than just flushing the money down the toilet.

rae

August 2nd, 2012
3:35 pm

Yea I left in the middle of the movie…it was horrible..I got a refund
http://www.chuuba.com
@iamraesta

azazel

August 2nd, 2012
3:52 pm

vince vaughn– in clay pigeons is great.

Vince

August 2nd, 2012
3:54 pm

@Debra, it was probably “Prometheus”, which was rated “R”, because that’s the only place you’d see a red band trailer. If someone brought their small kid(s) to an “R” rated movie and were upset by the “filth” they saw in that trailer, I have no sympathy for them. Especially with what they were about to subject those same kids to in “Prometheus”.

Unfortunately for Ayoade, he’ll probably be judged by most American audiences for this movie. Do yourself a favor and check out the British show “The IT Crowd” on Netflix and you’ll see what he can do when given the chance.

Vince's mamma

August 2nd, 2012
4:06 pm

Yeah my Brady Bunch look-a-like son really sucked in this one. And the one before that. And the one before that. And the one……..

St Simons - we're on Island time

August 2nd, 2012
4:11 pm

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler

-the Crap Pack

GIVE ME A BREAK

August 2nd, 2012
4:17 pm

Name something that Vaughn has done that is worth watching? Nothing. My money is safe.

dark child...awesome!

August 2nd, 2012
4:20 pm

you were right, Devil Dog, “Dark Child” looks like a real romp. how has travis hunter not made it big in hollyweird?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da4fLT6Y_gs&feature=player_embedded

(psyche!)

I LOVE IT Crowd!!!

August 2nd, 2012
4:37 pm

I love Moss!!! Here is one of my favorites…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msN7HNncHik&feature=related

Nohora

August 2nd, 2012
4:39 pm

I actually saw the movie twice. I loved it. Raunchy comedy is not for everyone. Plan to buy it when it comes out.

bravesgrl4life

August 2nd, 2012
4:40 pm

Larry WACHS was an extra in the movie but the orgy scene he was in hit the cutting room floor.

atlfunlver

August 2nd, 2012
6:02 pm

See what coming to loser-town USA will do to even the best talent

Reality

August 2nd, 2012
7:55 pm

Went with a friend who grew up in that area. I don’t why the Hollywood bunch think they have to get so vulgar and raunchy. I couldn’t get the point of the movie. We left about half way through.

Nora

August 2nd, 2012
8:14 pm

I’m disappointed to hear this movie is a bomb. Some of the scenes were filmed on our street in East (not West) Cobb – near McClesky Middle School. They filmed the scenes at night and we got to watch – but could only see, not hear the dialog. Apparently we didn’t miss much!

Christopher

August 2nd, 2012
8:44 pm

Nora, we must be neighbors. We live at the corner of May Breeze & Ebenezer. We were watching every night during the filming to see what was going to happen and in case we could see any of the stars.

Too bad the movie didn’t come out as good as we had hoped. I noticed that they also shortened the name of the movie from “The Neighborhood Watch”. I had a suspicious attitude when I heard more about the movie plot.

Oh well