The Watch Review

Have you ever felt like someone was watching over you?

I have, but less in the religious, higher-being sense of the phrase and more like one of my housemates who confessed to enjoying watching me leave for work in the morning.

At least, I think that’s all he watches me do.

The Watch is not about this.

We begin in the greatest city on earth.

And, if you believe Ben Stiller’s narrative voice over, even the universe.

I don’t, and to judge from the other inhabitants of Glenview Ohio, I’m not alone in that opinion.

Stiller’s neurotic character this time around is Evan; leader of a local running club, proud husband to Abby and the lucky wearer of a senior manager job tag at his local Costco hypermarket.

Of course, it’s not easy having the life Evan has, and he had to spend twelve years working his way up the company ladder before landing the plum role of he’s in now.

Plum being the most appropriate word of choice here.

Still, the picture perfect house this job has bought and the number of times his Abby jumps on him the moment he walks through the door means Evan has a pretty perfect lifestyle.

But all is not as it seems in suburban Greenview.

So when the night time security guard at Evan’s supermarket behemoth is brutally murdered, he sets up a neighbourhood watch scheme to track down whoever’s responsible for his compadre’s death.

Having assembled a ragtag collection of vigilantes, new guys looking to fulfil their asian girl fantasies and guys just looking to hang out with bro’s, Evan sets about making his town a safer place for all.

But is our new local law enforcement hero ready for the secrets Greenview has in store for him?

The Watch is the latest Ben Stiller vehicle, and if you know anything about the comedies he typically stars in then you’ll know what to expect.

Evan is an uptight control freak who has trouble letting go so spends most of his life managing or organising everything and everyone around him instead.

Sounds like pretty much every character Stiller plays?

Vince Vaughn plays the loose-limbed and gregarious Bob, the sober yin to Stiller’s quietly, raging small-man yang.
Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade make up the foursome as a token gun crazy guy living with his mother and token black guy respectively.

While the script and characters won’t win any prizes for originality, this Hollywood foursome pull off their character’s lines with no little style.

But it really depends on whether you like the star personalities involved.

Stiller’s personal brand of slightly awkward humour has never really done it for me, but Vaughn’s larger than life persona does; so I found plenty of laughs to be had in The Watch.

But I’m still not that keen on people watching over me.

Jonathan Campbell

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August 2012
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