Thursday, 6 September 2012



Meh as in mehrde, meh as in mehdiocrity, meh as in mehritless, meh as in so mehny things wrong with it. Meh as in vulgar, charmless, not funny, not exciting, full of unsympathetic characters and shifting wildly in tone from gory splatter to childish smut. It's not just that it too frequently descends to piss and knob jokes, it's that it could have been something slightly better - if not a classic, certainly a film that's not a massive waste of time and money, and a film that doesn't send you out of the cinema wishing you'd watched something else instead (I could have seen The Three Stooges in the screen next door and I'm really not sure I made the right choice).

Okay, so maybe it's a sense of humour thing. But for The Watch, a film that's billed as a comedy and starring four people known for appearing in films which are billed as comedies, two mild smirks in a running time of nearly 102 minutes is an exceedingly poor batting average. You'd think that there'd be more mileage in four losers forming a Neighbourhood Watch group and ultimately foiling an alien invasion, but no: Ben Stiller (dull), Vince Vaughn (blokey), Richard Ayoade (nerdy) and Jonah Hill (aggressive) spend more time bickering amongst themselves than saving the Earth, and the aliens only seem to show up when the film remembers it's supposed to be more than just four mouthy blokes goofing off. Indeed, even when they find an alien and kill it, they're more interested in taking stupid photographs of themselves larking about with the corpse than alerting the authorities to the biggest scientific discovery of all time.

So it's not remotely amusing and the characters are dimwits that you really don't want to spend any time with. The sole bright spot is actually the alien monster design which is a proper physical animatronic effect rather than a CGI creation and is rather nicely done. That and the occasional gore shots sit uncomfortably against the gross sexual humour and crudity that the film seems to think it needs to make up for not having any proper jokes in it. Meh really is the only response.


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