Seemingly a way point en route to some sort of cinematic Last Of The Summer Wine, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn have never seemed further away from their creative high – that golden half decade that gave us The Cable Guy, Happy Gilmore and brought them together in Zoolander before the real studio mega-hits began in earnest and their original fanbase quietly grew up, lost interest, and got pilots licenses, children, or complicated socket sets to devote their time to.
Now both bookending the 40s, their once youthful vitality and arrested adolescence that kept them high on the viewing agenda in frat houses everywhere has motored them into a corner where they scrabble at the brickwork, looking for some way out.
Puerile sci-fi comedy The Watch definitely isn’t it – a sort of dispiriting cross between 2009’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop and 2001’s Evolution as a clique of small town losers defy rivals and defeat an alien invasion – all the while finding time for a recurring joke about alien goo being the same consistency as ejaculate.
It’s not funny when it’s phrased like that, is it? Don’t worry, it’s not funny at all so we haven’t spoilt it.
With Stiller playing Ben Stiller Neurotic Character #54 and Vaughn playing Vince Vaughan Obtuse Slob #32 there’s perhaps a hope that their spiritual successor Jonah Hill (Superbad, Knocked-Up) or cult favourite Richard Ayoade (The Mighty Boosh, The IT Crowd) will do all the work for them and somehow rescue their reputations in the eyes of the elusive 13-17/18-25 demographic – instead it’s sort of the dumb comedy equivalent of The Expendables, with Hill as Jason Statham and Ayoade as one of the wrestlers nobody’s heard of.
R Lee Ermey’s in it too, because having R Lee Ermey in anything means you need to create one less character – that’s more time you can spend writing jizz jokes.