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Nordling Would Rather Watch His Watch Than Watch THE WATCH Again!

Nordling here.

THE WATCH (formerly called NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH until the shooting of Trayvon Martin forced the studio to change the title) is a bunch of near-misses, a few hits, and a lot of just flat-out missing the target.  There are moments that are funny, but too many that aren't and casting Ben Stiller as the straight man while everyone else gets to have all the fun was just a bad idea from the start.

Ben Stiller's a funny guy when he's allowed to be, like in ZOOLANDER, DODGEBALL, and TROPIC THUNDER and his awesome one-season television show, but here he's stuck playing the most boring character in the movie - Evan, the manager of the local Costco.  Evan loves his job, his suburban life, and his wife Abby (Rosemarie Dewitt).  He's as vanilla as they come, and I was hoping that Stiller would find something subversive in the role, but that doesn't happen.  

One night a security guard working the night shift at Evan's Costco is brutally murdered, and Evan, offended by the very idea of crime in his idyllic neighborhood, decides to form up a local neighborhood watch.  He only manages to get three others to join him- Bob (Vince Vaughn), a family man devoted to his daughter who's just looking for a little bonding with the guys over beers, Franklin (Jonah Hill), a rather intense young man who failed the police academy tests and wants to join the force, and Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), a British man who is new to the neighborhood.

But the four soon realize that they're in over their heads - this isn't a crime spree, it's a precursor to an alien invasion, and since no one believes them, especially the local police sergeant (Will Forte), the Watch decides to handle it themselves.  Hilarity then ensues, as it must.

There are moments that work - I think Vince Vaughn gives it the most, even if he's playing a type of character we've seen before from him, and Jonah Hill gets some laughs by flexing up a bit and trying to be the tough guy. It's Richard Ayoade that gets the best lines, and he delivers them smartly and with a lot of laughs.  But there's just not much there there.  There are stretches of dialogue that add nothing to the film except to watch these actors riff off each other, and you'd think that would be enough, but it's just retreads of the plot with dick jokes sprinkled in.  The script is written by Jared Stern, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg, but it feels more improv than anything, and not the good kind either.  Much of it feels like the stuff that Judd Apatow would wisely cut out of his movies.  I expected better work from those writers, and the story just isn't much to hang a movie on.

There are moments that work - Will Forte trying to revive a fallen comrade felt like something straight out of MACGRUBER (KFBR392), there are some funny bits of physical comedy, and there's one particular cameo that I thought was pretty hilarious considering the character he plays, but it's not enough.  The story is predictable all the way through, and though there are times that the movie wants to say something about male bonding and friendship, those times are few and they mostly don't work anyway.

It's not a very long movie but it felt like it - the pacing is all wrong for what is ostensibly a comedy.  Everyone here has done better work before, and Ben Stiller, especially, should have brought a little more flavor to what, as written, is a very bland character.  THE WATCH fails most of the time at being funny, and for a comedy that's pretty much unforgivable.  Akiva Schaffer, who directed the very underrated HOT ROD, has made a successful comedy before, but this time, it's just flat.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • July 26, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Watch me be FIRST

    by BubbaDestructo

  • July 26, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Watch me be FIRST

    by BubbaDestructo

  • July 26, 2012, 10:15 p.m. CST

    If Nordling doesn't like it, it must be good.

    by JudasPriestly

    Prove me wrong.

  • July 26, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST


    by Mennen

    I read this script. It was funny. The director fucked this up BIGTIME.

  • July 26, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Hot Rod is UNDERRATED?

    by theBigE

    How is that possible? It was horrible! Please, someone explain to me how the movie AS A WHOLE was funny? It has funny bits in it, yes, but as a complete film it is poorly paced and shoddily done. I like Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island gang, but Hot Rod was a huge disappointment to me. Maybe I'm too old - does anyone over the age of 25 like it?

  • Looks silly stupid, but fun. But I am in a silly stupid mood, and I love aliens. I'm in. :-P

  • July 26, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST


    by Mennen

    Just read who directed this pile of crap. Nice going. You're now responsible for giving each of these box-office stars a genuine BOMB. Seriously, dude, how do you fuck up with this cast?

  • July 26, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST


    by Mennen

    Hotrod?! Seriously? THAT'S THE MOVIE THAT GOT YOU THIS GIG? holy crap.

  • July 26, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST


    by Raptor Jesus

    I am sick and tired of movies about stupid people. Stupid people are not funny. They are STUPID. And TEDIOUS. And BORING. Can we please stop with the stupid comedies? Here's an anti-stupid person comedy - 'The Ref' with Denis Leery. Why can't Hollywood make more movies like that?

  • July 26, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    mennen, don't be a dick

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Hotrod is a funny movie. Ok, the Watch might well be bad, but it also might work for other people, including you. Why don't you just watch it and make up your own mind, instead of just following Nordling like a fucking little sheep fucker.

  • July 26, 2012, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Ben Stiller is not funny.

    by MikeTheSpike

    People who are smart and I respect are the same people who, like me, do not find Ben Stiller funny. Casting him as the "straight man" is actually pretty clever, considering the fact that *he's not particularly funny*. Show me the part of Tropic Thunder (one of the most incredibly overrated films of the past few years) where stiller's funny. Do it.

  • A hack who belongs with owen wilson in the, "How do they get work club"

  • July 26, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Costco agreed to this?

    by MovieManStill

  • July 26, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST

    talkbacker with no name - you were cool till sheep fucker

    by Mennen

    You were making a good point. Now, go fuck yourself.

  • July 26, 2012, 11:07 p.m. CST


    by Mennen

    I like Andy - bummed when that sucked. First one outta the gate blew. Akiva, seriously, reconsider your career.

  • July 26, 2012, 11:09 p.m. CST

    raptor_jesus, Stupid People Can Be Funny

    by Max Osaben

    Burn After Reading is an example. Granted, that's a smart movie. I do agree that stupid comedies can suck something fierce; doesn't mean they all do, though. (Also, the Jackass guys can be incredibly stupid, but I'll be damned if those movies aren't funny as hell.)

  • July 26, 2012, 11:20 p.m. CST

    How often can you say a word until it seems to cease being a word

    by David_Denmans_Beard

    I *WATCH* mean *WATCH* seriously? *WATCH* Couldn't *WATCH* someone *WATCH* formulate *WATCH* a *WATCH* better *WATCH* joke *WATCH* than *WATCH* blatant *WATCH* word *WATCH* abuse? *WATCH* *WATCH* *WATCH* *WATCH* *WATCH* *WATCH*

  • July 26, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST!

    by adeceasedfan

    It still looks like a solid rental from the trailer.

  • July 26, 2012, 11:32 p.m. CST

    How much of it is improv

    by Bass Ackwards

    about sucking dick and jacking off and cumming all over each other? The trailer made it feel like that was pretty much the entirety of the humor.

  • July 26, 2012, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Stiller funds Ayoade's movie.....

    by Loosejerk

    then says "hey, we need a fourth for a quick cash grab of a movie". Richard is too nice to say no.

  • July 26, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    title changed due to a shooting?

    by Bouncy X

    i don't get it, they went from "neighborhood watch" to simply "the watch" because of a shooting? did it happen in a neighborhood and they were afraid people would be reminded? was the shooter part of his town/city's neighborhood watch? wha?it just doesn't make sense, especially when all they did was remove one word.

  • July 26, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST

    bouncy x - Agree - Hollywood is seriously over reacting

    by Mennen

    It doesn't matter with the reviews this pile of crap is receiving. It's too bad.

  • July 26, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Poor Richard Ayoade

    by Steve Lamarre

    Love that guy. His talent is so wasted in this.

  • July 26, 2012, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Serious question

    by LethargicJ

    What the hell is a Richard Ayoade??

  • July 27, 2012, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Welcome to Costco,I love you.

    by kenchun24

  • July 27, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST


    by Drunken Busboy

    Two TV Icons dead in one day and not even a peep? :( Still need an Ed McMahon Obit as well!

  • July 27, 2012, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Not surprising

    by ThaWhiteShadow

    Seeing as how I don't find any of the leads funny at all.

  • also isn't this mostly an american remake of the terrible and much-ballyhooed by AICN ATTACK THE BLOCK? Also is still says NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH on their jackets in the movie.

  • July 27, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST


    by skelly

    Check out The IT Crowd to answer your question. You can stream it on netflix. Also, YouTube has whole episodes of Garth Marengi's Darkplace. These are two British shows Richard Ayoade was in that are hilarious.

  • July 27, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST


    by Deaft0ne

  • July 27, 2012, 12:51 a.m. CST

    ben stiller funny? hot rod not?

    by ryan freiling

    ok ben stiller blows, seinfeld blows, howard stern is the only funny jew i know of. hot rod is fucking awesome. i must be surrounded by retards.

  • July 27, 2012, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Doesn't surprise me. ALL these actors suck

    by MaxHeadroom

    I've never seen any of them in anything funny.

  • July 27, 2012, 1:45 a.m. CST

    Dean Learner rules

    by paul burnett

    end off

  • July 27, 2012, 1:57 a.m. CST


    by Harrigan

    KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392 KFBR392

  • July 27, 2012, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Imagine if Hollywood made a comedy that was actually funny?

    by No Respectable Gentleman

    Those SNL comedies of the '70s and '80s didn't seem like masterpieces at the time but they're looking that way now in comparison to all this bodily-function shit.

  • July 27, 2012, 3:13 a.m. CST

    It's funny because it's us and we're funny

    by No Respectable Gentleman

    There's a scene on the trailer that's indicative of modern "comedy". The guys are standing around shooting an alien that's proving difficult to kill. So they just keep shooting. The scene goes on for a long time. There's no punchline. Nothing clever at all. It's just there. The message seems to be "It's funny because it's us and we're funny" or "We're too cool for punchlines." These sort of scenes often end up at the end of trailers with smashcuts to the title and some funky music. They used to get a few titters from the audience for their "anti-humor" quality. Now there's just dead silence.

  • July 27, 2012, 3:19 a.m. CST

    To those of you talking down Stiller and Tropic Thunder...

    by djscott95

    I will not attempt to defend the comedic talents of Ben Stiller. He might not be for everyone, but I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I think he's a funny guy. But if you didn't like Tropic Thunder, or found it "overrated", you don't deserve to get to call yourself a movie geek. You don't. You don't get it, and you should feel bad for not getting it. Tropic Thunder is a brilliant satire of ALL of the SHIT that YOU PEOPLE BITCH about on a daily basis. It is about how money, and greed, and actor divas ruin movies. I can go to the top 10 talkbalks on this very site and find millions of you bitching about the very thing that the film satires. So maybe Stiller isn't a great comedic actor, but dude writes some funny shit, and some SERIOUS satire. That said, this film looks like a cash grab. I will wait for the next project...

  • July 27, 2012, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Vince Vaugn does the most????

    by misterfadedglory

    I have yet to see him act....and I never want to. As for Stiller, he is too hit and miss for my cash nowadays. And Jonah Hill just keeps getting paid.

  • July 27, 2012, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Wedding Crashers 2: make it happen.

    by Volllllume3

  • July 27, 2012, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Something About Mary was Stiller's Last Good Movie

    by Alice Cooper Stalker

    I haven't found him funny before or since. Maybe mildly funny in those Focker movies. Another Focker movie is needed just as badly as another Look Who's Talking sequel is needed though.

  • Go ahead. I dare you.

  • Huh? Are these aliens related to the ones in 'Signs' or something?

  • July 27, 2012, 6:17 a.m. CST


    by Fries Against

    Watching Tropic Thunder made me feel like I was watching a movie made for Ben Stiller's Hollywood friends, not for movie geeks. But I will admit it was funny when Stiller was getting stabbed by the tiny Asian kid.

  • July 27, 2012, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Dodgeball was pretty shit...

    by Darius Doherty

    There I said it. He was ok in curb though.

  • July 27, 2012, 6:51 a.m. CST

    Neighborhood watch!

    by Dazzler69

    I am not calling it anything else. Not going to honor a gangbanger.

  • July 27, 2012, 6:51 a.m. CST

    wait, wait, wait, Judd Apatow actually cuts stuff from his movies?

    by Spandau Belly

    That's scary.

  • July 27, 2012, 6:53 a.m. CST

    and wasn't Stiller the straightman in TROPIC THUNDER?

    by Spandau Belly

    I thought he was supposed to be the bland Ben Affleck hunky leading man type actor who had some ARMAGEDDON hit movie back in the 90s and then made bad career choices. I thought RDJ and Jack Black were supposed to be the more zany ones.

  • July 27, 2012, 7 a.m. CST

    There are moments that work... There are moments that work...

    by DadTimesTwo

  • July 27, 2012, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Needs more Kieth David.

    by Xenodistortion

    Yeah. I said it.

  • July 27, 2012, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Who watches the Watch?

    by martinprince

    Hey, what TB are people talking about TDKR in, I'm ready to weigh in

  • July 27, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST


    by pr0g2west

    Jerry Seinfeld is funny, he's "clean" though. He can make you laugh without using explatives and sexual humor. That is very very hard to do too, so cut him some slack. And you didn't mention Gary Shandling or Adam Sandler, 2 very funny jews.

  • July 27, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST

    The only Vaughn/Stiller movie that was funny was Dodgeball, and

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    that's mostly because of the supporting cast, not those two.

  • July 27, 2012, 7:33 a.m. CST


    by Ali Kerim Bey

  • July 27, 2012, 7:40 a.m. CST


    by the new transported man

    played before TDKR, & had one of those moments where a character's about to use profanity & the trailer does a clumsy cut to a reaction shot. Like, "I want a woman to su-" *record scratch*. Comedy, folks!

  • July 27, 2012, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Someone explain the appeal of Vince Vaughn

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    That whiny lisp combined with that bloated head...ugh.

  • July 27, 2012, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Everyone needs to go away in this film!

    by MainMan2001

    This humor is over! Stop making these movies. They are not funny and carter to the lowest common denominator. thank you.

  • July 27, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    Ben Stiller's funny when he's "allowed to be"

    by gridlockd

    Who the fuck is stopping him? Doesn't he have enough power in Hollywood by now to be funny whenever he wants? Nobody had a gun to his head to make Little Fockers Night at the Museum 2 Tower Heist, Heartbreak Kid, Along Came Polly and to dress like an Avatar at the Oscars... can we stop perpetuating this myth that Ben Stiller is a funny guy? 'Cause he's just not. Even hear him interviewed by Stern, he seems absolutely humorless. Way too into himself to be funny. He's a douche who thinks he's cool. If it weren't for his parents, we'd have never heard of him.

  • July 27, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    drunken busboy, write an obit, send it to one of the staff

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I recommend Quint. If it's good they'll post it. I was thinking of doing a Mr. Jefferson one, but I'm too busy with stuff right now.

  • July 27, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah, 'cause Tropic Thunder was so deep

    by gridlockd

    Oh I get it now, "Actors are divas!" What an insight! What brilliant satire! It's funny 'cuz he said "retard."

  • July 27, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Wow. 13% on Rotten Tomatoes?

    by gridlockd

    Ben, you've done it again!

  • July 27, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Everything needs more Keith David

    by Dingleberry Jones

    And Ben Stiller is a funny guy. Sure, he's cashing a check/phoning it in w/Little Fockers 3 & Another Night in a Museum. But Tropic Thunder & Zoolander are gold.

  • When Stiller plays a cad, a dick, a douche, as in Dodgeball, or the sleazy characters he's portrayed on the Ben Stiller Show, he's funny. But he's become tied down to the befuddled everyman role, that dulls his comedic edge.

  • July 27, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Where's my Garth Mahrenghi's DARKPLACE: The Movie?

    by Clavius

    Please don't let this be the closest I'll ever get to seeing Thornton Reed on the big screen!

  • July 27, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST

    It's up to 15% on RT

    by martinprince

    and I don't mean Russia Today

  • July 27, 2012, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Hey, did anybody see Jonah Hex?

    by martinprince

    I laughed my ass off when I heard it had a run time of barely an hour. An unmitigated disaster. Might have to check it out one of these days.

  • July 27, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    bouncy x

    by The Garbage Man

    Not sure how much coverage it got outside of the U.S. but yes this is due to a shooting involving an unarmed teen and an armed neighborhood watch volunteer. The first trailer for this movie was released shortly before the shooting gained national attention. Seemed to be in poor taste to have a trailer for a movie called Neighborhood Watch, which featured the guys carrying guns and Hill miming shooting a pedestrian, when the story was making national headlines. Ironically, now that the movie is coming out, no one is even talking about the shooting anymore.

  • July 27, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    NORDLING, I'll have to agree with...


    Most of the people here, Ben Stiller is never all that funny and I actually prefer it when he plays more PCM the straight man, I HATE the movies where he is all fake mustache and shit.

  • July 27, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Ben Stiller the "straight" man

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Funny in the Meet the movies and Royal Tenenbaums, but what was he doing in Tower Heist????? He was so bland in that film, you could've put anyone in that role.

  • July 27, 2012, 12:06 p.m. CST

    KFBR392! KFBR392! KFBR392! KFBR392! KFBR392!

    by Crow3711

    KFBR392! KFBR392! KFBR392! KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392! KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392! KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392!KFBR392! FUCK YOU CUNTH

  • July 27, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Yet Again...

    by Darkness

    Hollywood needs to take a trip down to "Backbones'R'Us" I mean really, "The Watch". Whats up with Jonah Hill lately: He was nominated for awards on that "Moneyball" gig; showed off his substantial weight loss, then all of a sudden gets labeled as a serious actor being in cast in "Django Unchained" and now martin Scorsese's "The Wolf Of Wall Street". The mind never ceases.

  • July 27, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST


    by darkpassenger

    he was hilarious in that.... and zoolander.

  • July 27, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Anyone else notice the TV commercials for this movie

    by Brent

    seemed to do everything they could to avoid any mention of aliens in the movie at all. Movie got John Cartered...but John Carter was a decent flick and this one just sounds like a steamy pile!!!

  • July 27, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    poor ayoade...needs to fire his agent

    by walt

    his first intro to a majority of americans is a huge bomb

  • July 27, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Even in Stiller's so called "good" movies

    by gridlockd

    Can he pick easier targets? Zoolander taught us models are dumb! Tropic skewered actors for being, get this, self-absorbed! Man, he doesn't care who's toes he steps on! It's like he's got nothing to say and he's saying it.

  • July 27, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    bad bad movie

    by Micah

    shit sticking to the walls........ Baseketball all over again

  • He was in an episode where he played the used car salesman-like manager of a gym Phil Hartman was considering joining. Meet the Parents was also very funny. The sequels looked horrible, though.

  • July 27, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Tivo < Keith David < KFBR392 < Heavyweights

    by Xenodistortion

    I need the guy who always talks about Substitute V & the "damn you michael bay" guy here right now. The revolution starts tonight.

  • July 28, 2012, 12:46 a.m. CST

    I guess Keith David is the new Brian Cox then?

    by Gary Makin

  • July 28, 2012, 5:29 a.m. CST

    WTF is Ostensibly?????

    by thedoctor28

    and even if I knew I wouldn't use it. Reading it pissed me off! We are way to stupid around here to understand such things!

  • July 28, 2012, 5:35 a.m. CST

    ok ok heres the breakdown of this piece of shit

    by Balkin Flabgurter

    first reason why nobody should have went to see this movie unless they are employed to do so is because even in the behind the scenes interviews Jonah hill admits he thinks hes funnier than the writers, thus improv's large amounts of script on his own. That goes for stiller and vaughn as well. whats my point? these jerk off ass clowns have reached a point of box office ego inflation to where they actually believe every half thought that slimes its way from their mouth's will make people laugh. As well shame on the director for giving these assholes the benefit of the doubt because this movie FUCKING-SUCKED

  • July 28, 2012, 5:41 a.m. CST

    did i mention seth rogan helped write this shit?

    by Balkin Flabgurter

    scratch his screenplay career, it ended up just like qui gon jinn.

  • July 28, 2012, 5:44 a.m. CST

    one last comment for the multiple shitstroke bandit...

    by Balkin Flabgurter

    the heartbreak kid was stillers best comedy hands down. seems his whole life has gone downhill since then.

  • July 28, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Ayoade's the Man

    by gregmeister

    If you have not seen the IT crowd,Garth Marengi's darkplace,or The Mighty Boosh, I would recommend all of those, IT is on netflix and the rest are a download away.especially if you like to laugh.