Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade, Rosemarie DeWitt
Directed by: Akiva Schaffer
Written By: Jared Stern, Seth Rogen,Evan Goldberg
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 41 min
There’s actually a pretty funny film buried in this high concept comedy. It’s buried deep though, and only manages to surface for a few minutes at a time before it’s forced away by a script clearly trying to accomplish too much. When the focus is on the central premise of the neighborhood watch taking on an alien invasion, there are some decent moments to enjoy. The movie keeps getting off track though to pursue pointless subplots. Evan’s (Ben Stiller) problems at home with his wife. Bob’s (Vince Vaughn) difficulties controlling his teenage daughter. In the end it felt to me like there wasn’t much consensus between the writing talent about the direction of the film, so they tried combining everyone’s ideas. The result is muddled, a little dull in places, but not a complete waste of time.
This isn’t an awful film. Just lacks focus. There are some genuinely funny moments as long as you’re okay with lowbrow humor. He cast are fine, though I will warn you Vince Vaughn phones in his usual obnoxious overbearing friend performance.
Best viewing format:
The visual effects are actually really decent so a HD viewing at home will serve this movie well.
Best moment for me: << mild spoiler >>
There’s a scene where Bob has to pee while the four guys are on a stake out at Costco’s in Evan’s SUV. Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) hands Bob an empty soda can. The ensuing play by play commentary from Jamarcus, Bob and Franklin (Jonah Hill) had me in stitches!