The Watch Review

Review of: The Watch Review
movies:
Jonathan R. Lack

Reviewed by:
Rating:
1
On July 27, 2012
Last modified:January 2, 2013

Summary:

The Watch is an utterly soulless, lazy, painfully dull affair. It is not a film. It is a product, and an awful one. This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

Editor’s Note: There is a mild spoiler contained in this review. It regards a twist every intelligent viewer will see coming several dozen miles away, and there is no reason any of you should see this disaster in the first place, but for those allergic to spoilers, fair-warning has been given. 

%name The Watch Review

I am quite frankly surprised Fox did not elect to release The Watch, their latest atrocious comedy, as Costco Presents ‘The Watch. The big box superstore factors so heavily into the very fabric of the film that when the action isn’t taking place on the warehouse floor, or when the camera isn’t literally lingering on long establishing shots of a Costco exterior, characters make sure to remind us, every few minutes, that Costco is wonderful, and we should all feel deeply blessed by the salvation discount bulk pricing provides us.

I not only imagine most of the film’s budget was covered by this one corporate sponsorship, but that Fox only commissioned the project after Costco offered the studio a lucrative product placement deal. There is no possible way The Watch was greenlit for creative reasons. The only way it could ever be viewed as ‘successful’ is as a vehicle for product placement. It has no well defined characters, quality performances, amusing humor, or actual story to speak of, but it does feature lots and lots of thinly veiled commercials for Costco, and 3D TVs, and expensive massage chairs, and Budweiser beer, and other products I will boycott vigorously until my dying day for their appearance in this irredeemable act of cinematic treachery.

I hate The Watch. I hate it with every last fiber of my being. I am offended to know that a movie this dull, a work this uninspired and utterly soulless, exists. I am insulted to even ponder the sheer, flippant audacity this abomination has to demand money from paying viewers. I so detest this wretched, callous act of unrepentant commercialism that when thoughts of things I love – like friends, or family, or pleasant midday strolls, or small adorable kittens – cross paths with memories of this film, those happy thoughts are deeply tainted, perhaps forever, stained with the aching remnants of darkness this so-called ‘comedy’ has wrought upon my now-fractured psyche.

The Watch is ostensibly the tale of four unlikely friends who band together to prevent an alien invasion, but even this slapdash synopsis gives the film too much credit. An alien invasion is an interesting occurrence. Nothing even remotely interesting, especially concerning the alien invaders, happens in The Watch. The film is so disinterested in its central extra-terrestrial conceit, in fact, that when one of the aliens explains the invasion to the protagonists, he has no motive to offer than “we’re aliens, that’s what we do.” I’m not oversimplifying things. That’s close to being a direct quote.

As an alien invasion story, The Watch has not one mildly imaginative or amusing idea to offer. Every single action the aliens take is deeply clichéd, presented without the slightest sign of sincerity or energy. Holding up the image of an alien from any other sci-fi film Hollywood has ever produced to a mirror would yield a more creative visual design than the one presented here. Asking any given Kindergartner ideas for what aliens might do if they came to earth would produce more inspired narrative events than the ones featured in The Watch. Glancing momentarily into the night sky will give you more insight into extra-terrestrial concepts than this 90-minute film is able to provide.

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Most notably, the high sci-fi concept isn’t even able to produce a single, solitary laugh from start to finish. How could it, when the characters themselves are so unfunny, so flat, lifeless, and dull that they bear more resemblance to black holes – gaping, cavernous rifts in spacetime from which not even the strongest of lights can escape – than they do to interesting or entertaining protagonists?

To say these characters are poorly defined would be a severe abuse of the English language. These figures are not even fleshed out enough to count as ‘types.’ Jonah Hill’s character is somewhat intense. That’s it. Richard Ayoade’s character is a little bit weird, and nothing more than that. Ben Stiller’s character is mildly clueless and slightly controlling. That’s where his characterization stops. Vince Vaughn’s character is a little bit…um…well…I actually have no honest idea how to describe his character, because he has no character. He’s just there. Vaughn does his loud, fast-talking jibber-jabber shtick, but that’s not a character. Not in the slightest.

Though I have liked these performers in other works, each is agonizingly unfunny here, succeeding only as massive charisma vacuums. They are unappealing apart, and they are even more miserable together, where in lieu of quality-scripted comedy or genuine narrative progression, each scene sees them shouting dreadfully bad dialogue and hideously humorless jokes over each other at the top of their lungs. Sometimes, attempts at thin character building are made, each more asinine and disingenuous than the last, while the urge to shove a fork in one’s eye to ease the pain the film causes steadily grows.

The film is also grossly homophobic and offensively xenophobic, with every person who is not strictly Caucasian deeply stereotyped and defined entirely by what the film views as amusing racial differences. It did not surprise me one iota when Ayoade, the lone African-American character, is revealed to be an undercover alien. The film works hard, from start to finish, to hammer home the point that, because this man is black, he is clearly different from the rest of ‘us.’ And if his skin has already set him apart that much, why not just make him an alien, and draw the lines in the sand as firmly as ever?

This is a despicable film. If the overt ethical issues do not concern you, the crass commercialism and blatant contempt for the viewer certainly will. The Watch is not a film. It is a product, manufactured to hit clear demographic targets and produced with as little effort as possible. It exists solely to sell tickets to unsuspecting moviegoers, and offers nothing in return but a long, lifeless, impossibly dull waste of celluloid.

The Watch is an utterly soulless, lazy, painfully dull affair. It is not a film. It is a product, and an awful one. This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
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  • Braggis

    Hey thanks for the surprise, non-censored spoiler in the last paragraph you jackass.

    What kind of reviewer has the balls to criticize a movie when you can’t hide details for those who haven’t seen it yet? Fuck you and fuck your website, douchebag!

    • the_truth_sucks

      If you are the kind of person that would be surprised at the ‘twist’ in this movie that’s fine. But you shouldn’t be on this site. Or any other. Instead just lay on your tummy and draw with crayons while the grown-ups discuss things like movies and art.

  • the_truth_is_great

    Let us know how you really feel… Do you need some therapy sessions or something brother…? You are overanalyzing this COMEDY wayyyy too much. It was fairly well written, there were several laugh out loud moments, and overall it was an interesting movie. Nothing special, but certainly not as bad as you portray it. I’d give it a 6.5/10. Take a few deep breaths, realize that life is short, and stop being so angry.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Lack/100000619690152 Jonathan Lack

      You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine. We can leave it at that.

      I would, however, advise that there is no such thing as ‘over-analysis’ among intelligent viewers. The genre is unimportant. Quality still matters, and “The Watch” is utterly devoid of intelligence or purpose. It may not bother you as much as it did me, but my job is to analyze, and this is what I have done.

    • the best policy

      i’ve seen a copy of this movie and had to fast forward through otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to watch even the 10 minutes in total I did watch. There is no over-analyzing going on here. It takes less than 5 minutes to see that this so called film is a piece of cr*p and yes, the reviewer is spot on. This one of the worse films I have ever seen. In fact to call it a film is being too complimentary. It’s one long home video that has no qualities to speak of whatsoever. I’m a fan of Rogen’s acting work but this movie is a steaming pile of sh*t that looks like it was written in 5 minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

    Woah. Didn’t expect this one! I knew most weren’t going to like it, but I for some reason loved it. I will admit that I’m a huge sucker for R-rated comedies of this nature, so it wasn’t any surprise that found a lot of stuff to laugh over. I see where all of your points play in though, but I could never justify giving something a 0, simply because somewhere in the production there were positives.

    The alien design was great and practical, which is a rarity, especially for comedies that usually take the CGI way out, plus the film was at the very least not hard to watch, which meant the director did at least one thing right, which was point the camera in the right direction.

    Again, I totally see why you didn’t like the movie, but to bag on something THIS hard is something I’ll have to politely disagree with, if only because the film is miles better than those straight-to-DVD trash films found on bootleg DVD sold for mere dollars.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Lack/100000619690152 Jonathan Lack

      Well, I’m glad you liked it, and I understand why you did. But I am not exaggerating when I say I have never had a tougher time sitting through a whole movie. This was just excruciating. It felt four or five hours long, each worse than the last. That’s where the “0″ comes from. I honestly enjoyed nothing about it.

      • http://twitter.com/MinimeJer05 Jeremy Lebens

        Fair enough Jonathan. Well written review. I really do enjoy reading reviews for films that I totally disagree on. It just goes to show how engaging your writing is!

  • Maurice Gull

    Jonathan – well-spoken, sir. making junk has become a modern Hollywood obsession, replacing their occupation of 4 or 5 decades ago of producing fine cinematography, combining quality scripts with the craft of genuine acting.

  • Martha

    Richard Ayoade isn’t “African-American”, he is Norwegian, Yorba-Nigerian and British. Black and African-American aren’t interchangable, especially when one isn’t American.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Ayoade

  • chinablue

    the statements about how this film needs to make black people seem different are only what I hear black people on a never ending basis stating for themselves ,

    black people make that statement everyday of their lives on how they are more soulfull or racially superior every chance they get but THE ONE THING THAT TRUELY MADE ME ANGRY IS WHEN SOMEONE REFERS TO A BLACK PERSON AS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN, if you want to call a black person AFRICAN=AMERICAN then you damn well better call caucasions —-> EUROPEAN-AMERICANS, anything less than this is nothing short than out and out racism.

    • 60eggs!

      Way to go, Overkill. Many in the black community would agree that “African American” is offensive, as it was not necessarily by choice that they were born “American”.

      Also, good job pulling the race card while almost simultaneously stereotyping an entire race:

      “black people make that statement everyday of their lives on how they are more soulfull or racially superior every chance they get…”

      Douche.

  • Joe Poo

    This was not so much a criticial review but more so an attempt by the writer to throw around some $5 words and show us how smart and anti corporate he is. The Watch was not a great flick by any means, but it was way more fun than trying to read this self-richous garbage laced review.

  • RipsApartIdiots

    You must really go into movies expecting some ridiculous amount of laughter everytime you go. You must be disappointed when you come out of every single one of them. Do you walk into a room with a person who is telling a joke that is dull to you how bad it is? Like seriously get over yourself man. How about this for a change bro. Go into a movie expecting nothing and enjoy yourself. You’re like all the idiots who rated Grown Ups 2 bad because its “potty humor”, last I checked the ill intelligence of these people trying to be intelligent forgot to realize that the movie is based on a bunch of Grown Ups who are acting like fucking 3 year old’s. The movie isn’t supposed to have some witty humor much like this one. I didn’t know we were supposed to go into a movie looking to be educated. When someone is telling my a joke I don’t look to be informed bro. Please stop trying to be so intelligent because your lack of common sense much like your brethren is one of the reasons why our country is slowly becoming dumber. I’m sure you’ve said shit like, “That’s what she said”, among other stupid jokes. My dad still says them does that take any credibility away from him? No. So please man do yourself and every person who read this blog a favor. Grow a sense of humor and live life a little. Instead of being an overly analytic idiot who tries to pull every terrible thing out of something without seeing the good shit in it. Goodnight have a good life.

    • iRipApartIdiots123

      Me* not my in “Telling my a joke”, in my absolute distaste of this review I forgot to spell check.

      • iRipApartIdiots

        or telling you a joke whichever you’re taking it as.