The Watch Review: Only Ayoade Has The Power To Escape This Black Hole

A huge waste of time for everyone involved.

By Josh Tyler | Updated

In The Watch aliens decide to invade the small town of Glennview and our last line of defense is four idiots who’ve decided to form their own neighborhood watch. Or at least that’s what the movie’s about, eventually. First though there’s a lot of just sitting around while Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill try way too hard to be funny and fall completely flat. The fourth member of their group, played by The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade, is left sitting back and observing as his castmates spout an endless amount of nonsense. For him, it must have been like spending a day at the zoo watching monkeys throw shit at each other. All you can really do in that situation is try not to get hit.

Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Richard Ayoade, and Vince Vaughn in The Watch.

Ayoade, though the film has absolutely no idea how to use him and seems to leave him sitting quietly in the corner for long stretches, is absolutely the only good thing about The Watch. But he’s only good because he has the good sense to stay the hell out of this shitstorm of awful the rest of the cast seems intent on creating. Everyone in it sucks except Richard Ayoade, and he’s only good because he had the sense to do absolutely nothing. Seeing him in this film is like watching someone confronted by a T-Rex, hoping that if he holds really still it won’t eat him. Given how terrible The Watch is, it was the only sensible thing to do.

You could blame the script, except most of the film is improv, and the script only exists to set up that improv by providing excuses for the cast to gather in various rooms and say ridiculous things to one another. Maybe if someone had actually had an idea before they filmed it, the cast wouldn’t have been forced to shoot an extended session of random make-em-up.

Eventually The Watch takes a break from trying too hard to introduce aliens. Then it realizes it has aliens and starts trying even harder. The harder it tries the worse it gets and the longer and more unbearable the movie becomes. The whole thing eventually forms a black hole of shit, which no one outside of Ayoade, has the power to resist.

Maybe you’ll laugh once or twice, most of the characters have at least one good line (Ayoade probably has two), but the film’s sci-fi elements are a CGI afterthought and the comedy is mostly half-hearted shit jokes the cast dreamed up on the spot. Every second is filled with overcompensation for the fact that there’s no script, no story, and nothing worth watching. The Watch is cloying and desperate, long and boring; a huge waste of time for everyone involved.