End of Watch and The Watch (2012)

Theatrical release posterEnd of Watch is shot documentary-style, following the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

And in The Watch, Four men form a neighborhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day family routines, and then find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion.

So, which Watch should you watch?

End of Watch

Gyllenhaal pulling his best
Michael Chiklis impersonation
Okay, let's get the main gripe out of the way: The implausibility of all these scenes on these cameras being recorded. I'm not talking about the main characters, I can understand the two of them doing this, but the fact that the bad guys are recording all of their illegal activities on a camera stretches credibility. Surely they wouldn't be that stupid? Despite that, all the performances are filled with great charisma, allowing for everyone to get a great handle on each of their characters and share some wonderful chemistry with one another. The main stars, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, are the main examples of this, playing characters who, under usual circumstances, would be deemed as a-holes from the get-go, but thanks to the performances, are characters we genuinely care for, who we want to succeed and survive till the end of their shifts so they can make it back to the ones they love. It's thanks to this great chemistry and performances that the films overcome the usual cliches we'd see within cop films and handheld footage films, allowing for an engaging and likable buddy cop film. Plus, where else will you see Ugly Betty wielding a gun?

The Watch

Poor Pac-Man kept getting molested
by these four
With a script written by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, direction from The Lonely Island veteran Akiva Schaffer and a cast composed of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and The IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade, you'd expect the laughs to come flying at you fast and regularly. Sadly, all of this talent is wasted, instead opting for lame jokes, a lot of which are too oriented on sex and cum, predictable characterization for predictable characters and dull plotting. When both the alien parts and the comedic parts of a comedy film involving aliens fail, you know the films crappy.
The cast do manage to give good performances and the aliens do look good, so i'll give the film that, but despite the great talent that is on display both in front of and behind the cameras, the film cannot muster up enough laughs or interest. Not one to watch.