When a huge blockbuster opens– let’s use The Dark Knight Rises as a completely random example – people tend to ignore the new movies that come out for the next few weeks. It could be that they’re taking a week off from new releases, or skipped the opening weekend rush for The Dark Knight Rises and are planning on seeing it the following weekend. Whatever the reason, these people often miss some under-marketed gems that are definitely worth seeing. Case in point: The Watch. It has a fantastic ensemble cast, a promising young director, and just the right mix of comedy and action. Need more reasons? Well first check out the trailer:
Or, more colorful adults (NOT KIDS) can check out the saucier Red Band Trailer that gives you the full effect:
That still didn’t do it for you? Seriously? Well then consider the role each cast member adds to this rag-tag group neighborhood watch group. Many moviegoers enjoy seeing Ben Stiller’s zany character acting, with such memorable roles as Tony Perkis in Heavyweights, Derek Zoolander in that one movie about male models, and White Goodman in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. But we all know he can be just as funny when he tones it down, adding nervous energy to hilarious roles in There’s Something About Mary, Along Came Polly, and Meet the Parents. His uptight and nervous demeanor as Evan — the passive manager of a Costco — promises to blend well with the improvisation and oddball antics of the rest of the cast; in particular Stiller’s frequent collaborator Vince Vaughn.
In The Watch, Vaughn plays Bob, a fairly typical father who misses his glory days but also wants to protect his budding teenage daughter. From previews, it seems as if Vaughn had free license to be his verbose, outgoing self in addition to a fair amount of his trademark, improvised gab. He’s quite the opposite of Jonah Hill’s emotionally unstable character Franklin, who joins the neighborhood watch after failing the entrance exams to the police department. It’s a role not unlike his character in 21 Jump Street, but The Watch seems like one of those movies where Hill will get to explore the depths of his awkwardness/craziness/weirdness. Hill is also known for adlibbing some pretty hilarious, often uncomfortable mannerisms in his usual dry tone, which makes him an ideal foil to both Stiller and Vaughn.
And then there’s the wild card: Richard Ayoade as Jamarcus. Many Americans might not recognize Ayoade, but he’s had quite a career across the pond. He was the president of Cambridge’s amateur theatre club, Footlights, working alongside the club’s vice-president, John Oliver. He’s been a key contributor to the various incarnations of The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, as well as the more prominent British television show The IT Crowd. His unique brand of awkward yet clever comedy seems like the ideal way to round this group of comedians.
While the ensemble cast of this movie is a major part of its appeal, let’s not forget the talented people who actually created the film. Jared Stern, who has contributed to scripts for the Disney films Bolt and The Princess and the Frog, originally wrote The Watch as a supernatural comedy for kids. The angle was quickly abandoned and received script rewrites from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg; the comical duo behind such films as Knocked Up, Superbad, and Pineapple Express. If that weren’t enough, directing The Watch is up-and-coming young director Akiva Schaffer. You might know him as the guy that was on a boat with Andy Samberg and T-Pain, but he’s also the 1/3 of comedy group Lonely Island that’s behind the camera on most of the SNL Digital Shorts.
Each of the cast and crew members involved in The Watch is special and unique in their own way: Stiller a crunchy carrot, Vaughn a tender slab of beef, Hill a hearty potato, Ayoade a flavorful onion, and Schaffer a refreshing stick of celery. But when mixed together in the savory broth of their similar senses of humor, audiences are treated to a delicious and satisfying comedy stew that can hit the spot after watching the heartwrenching end to the Batman Trilogy. The Watch opens Friday, July 27th and you can find all of your local showtimes here.