Just watched “The Watch” and had an uneasy feeling that plot had been lifted from something. It was snitched from “Attack the Block,” a British flick about aliens attacking the hood. “The Watch” is an American film about aliens attacking a suburban neighborhood. “Attack the Block” has a much more dimensional cast of characters young and old, and the female lead in what is otherwise a “buddy” movie actually helped out. “The Watch” is Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughan and the wonderfully eerie Richard Ayoade riffing on weenie themes in an extended improv skit with the female characters being strictly stereotyped: wife; mother. Family themes were emphasized as has again and again been the case with comedy movies upholding some modicum of family-friendly values; this, even though the lingo in “The Watch” is unremittingly crass.
Only near-great “The Watch” would have benefitted from what in old timey movies was the job of “continuity” because of such things as characters being magically lifted from inside a building to outside a building. Editing was a little self-indulgent with scenes like selecting their neighborhood watch logo jacket entering the tedious zone. Because of all the improv, characters weren’t reacting in terror to terrifying things but were hanging on the words of others to trigger their riff. And a few nice touches like having one’s hair standing on end while climbing a high power tower would have been nice. If you want sci-fi meets comedy, get “Attack the Block.” If you want to see Ben Stiller running really fast watch “The Watch.”