But The Watch does offer some surprises, even though it seems the plot just gets in the way of the four grown men behaving badly as they search for a killer in their sleepy little town.
Stiller plays Evan, a pillar of his community who starts and runs many clubs and organizations throughout his small town and manages the local Costco.
When his night security guard gets viciously attacked and “skinned” during the night, he takes it upon himself to form a neighborhood watch program to catch the killer.
He enlists help from the community, but the only ones who attend the first meeting are Vince Vaughn as Bob, a lonely guy basically raising his teenage daughter alone; Jonah Hill as Franklin, a loose cannon with mental issues; and unfamiliar actor Richard Ayoade as Jamarcus, a recently divorced citizen from England who just wants to hang out but also has ulterior motives.
The movie takes off fast and furious with the cast coming together in about 10 minutes to make sure the audience fills their comedic quota.
It turns out the men are all just a bunch of lonely social rejects looking for friends, much to the chagrin of Stiller’s Evan.
The comedy powerhouses constantly step over each other’s lines and seemingly try to one-up each other with every sentence.
The dialogue is chocked full of profanity and raunchiness, which actually shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the cast.
It’s the movie Stiller’s last film, Tower Heist, wants to be when it grows up. And the behind-the-scenes shenanigans are surely a movie in itself.
The movie pushes on at a laugh a minute pace, and you actually forget that there’s an actual plot and that they’re supposed to be doing something.
And that something is finding the killer who turns out to be not of this world. Yes, the killer(s) are actually aliens, taking human skin to wear and blend in to society. A plot twist that comes out of nowhere, unless you’ve seen the extended movie trailers where it’s hinted.
The aliens are using the small town as ground zero for an impending invasion. All they have to do is send out a beacon, located in Costco, and the aliens will begin their attack and destroy Earth.
The aliens are humanoid in form, and the fact that they’re actually played by men in foam and latex costumes is a breath of fresh air for sci-fi film nuts. There are some computer generated effects but not many, as they are rarely seen in groups.
When the watch finally “kills” one of the creatures, they wind up taking it over to Bob’s house where they take lewd pictures posing with the beast until it inevitably wakes up and nearly kills them.
Vaughn’s Bob is the veritable force that carries the movie. His quick-witted remarks and penchant for the ludicrous work well when played against Hill’s dry comic charm and Stiller’s erratic freak-outs.
Though the characters are never really fleshed out, Bob does interact with his daughter from time to time and shows that he’s having a hard time keeping his daughter in check. She’s a teenager after all. And Bob would make any father proud in this movie.
The movie reaches outrageous heights and never really comes down. It could have been about the cast going grocery shopping and would still be a laugh riot.
But what do you expect from a movie written by Seth Rogen (40-Year-Old Virgin) and Evan Goldberg (Superbad).
The spot-on casting is worth the price of admission alone, and the title says it all, because when the actors are on screen, all you can really do is watch. And laugh.
Paul Gonzales is the entertainment writer at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 116, or at thescene@mySouTex.com.