Imagine if you remade Attack The Block but you took out all the things that made it unique and cool. Y’know, like, a bunch of ruthless ASBO teens as the main protagonists, the urban council estate setting, which is usually the purview of gritty yawn-fest social dramas. Oh, and inventive action scenes – all sparsely peppered with ‘right on’ social commentary. Joe Cornish, how I love thee. That’s kind of how The Watch turned out.
The film whitewashes the Attack the Block formula by switching the setting from the urban to the suburban and throwing together a cast of movie comedians who are paid a ton of money to fall back on their usual schtick instead of searching for anything new. Under the directorial skills of Akiva Schaffer of Lonely Island fame who trades directing pop cultural savvy digital comedy shorts for his first feature proper and totally blows it.
Schaffer knocks out one sloppily staged action scene after the other – all garnished with pyrotechnics so cheap that I suspect much of the movie was shot on a strict budget but instead of taking a leaf out of Joe Cornish’s book and being creative with his constraints, Schaffer is uncreative with his budgetary constraints and simply makes a by-the-numbers comedy action movie which makes it a stress free film-making experience for him and his cast but us poor audience have to sit through this cliche dross!
Some of the 12 deleted scenes and the gag reel offer some modest entertainment but the two featurettes offer little insight or entertainment.