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Watch, The (DQ)


Stars: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Will Forte, Rosemarie DeWitt

Director: Akiva Schaffer

A rare misfire in Stiller's comedy career (playing a role reputedly turned down by Will Ferrell), this has echoes of the old Tom Hanks film The 'burbs, as a group of over-enthusiastic Neighbourhood Watchers discover a nest of aliens set to take over America.

None of the crude comedy ideas work here, and the most entertaining bits of the film are when the watchers take on the aliens, especially in a blazing finale. But you long for just a few really funny lines to set you chuckling and enjoying the movie. Alas, they just aren't there.

Stiller, Vaughn, Hill and Ayoade (from UK TV's The IT Crowd, in an inauspicious Hollywood debut) rattle off their dialogue at machine-gun speed, but seem to be acting in different movies. Stiller plays it straight, while Vaughn clearly has tongue in cheek, as usual, Ayoade seems concerned about his image, and Hill sulks at being handed a subservient role.

"I'm glad you think this is a laugh riot,' Stiller berates his comrades. But he's wrong, he's wrong.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 18 Aug 2012