The Watch (3 stars)

The Watch

Unabashed crowd-pleaser triumphs thanks to uproarious script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Akiva Schaffer’s comedy sees nosey neighbours morph into a force to be reckoned with, as a gang of suburban misfits go from investigating a murder to thwarting an alien invasion.

After a colleague is killed in bizarre circumstances, proud resident and Costco manager Evan (Ben Stiller) vows to solve the crime and, faced with incompetent police (including Will Forte’s hilarious Sgt. Bressman) and disinterested citizens, he forms a neighbourhood watch. Evan is joined by a trio of curious characters: psychotic twenty-something Franklin (Jonah Hill), affable family guy Bob (Vince Vaughn) and oddball Jamarcus (Britain’s own Richard Ayoade). During the course of their investigations they make a number of strange discoveries, indicating that the culprits may be far from local.

The Watch is an unabashed crowd-pleaser, cheerfully channelling The ‘Burbs, Ghostbusters and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. That it triumphs, despite being a slave to formula, is squarely down to its uproarious banter, co-scripted by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and delivered with aplomb by an on-form ensemble.

General release from Fri 24 Aug.

The Watch Trailer 2 (2012)

The Watch

  • 3 stars
  • 2012
  • US
  • 1h 41min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Akiva Schaffer
  • Written by: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
  • Cast: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade
  • UK release: 29 August 2012

When a colleague is mysteriously killed, suburban Costco manager Evan (Stiller) cobbles a bunch of misfits (Hill, Vaughn, Ayoade) into a neighbourhood watch; but it seems that the culprits aren’t from the neighbourhood. A slavishly formulaic crowd-pleaser that works, thanks to an uproarious script and an on-form ensemble.