Stiller stars as Evan, an overachiever who can't bring himself to tell his loving wife (DeWitt) that he's sterile. When there's a murder in the super-store he manages, he forms a neighbourhood watch group with three losers: Bob (Vaughn) is struggling to cope with his teen daughter, Franklin (Hill) has an unhealthy obsession with guns, and Jemarcus (Ayoade) is a goofy sex addict.
All three would rather drink beer and play stupid games than keep their community safe. But then they discover that the killer was actually an alien who is leading an invasion of Earth.
There's not much fun in watching four grown men chuckling like Beavis and Butt-head over every rude reference to sex or the male anatomy. But this is pretty much the script's only attempt at humour, besides layering in a continual stream of simplistic gay innuendo. There's a sense that the filmmakers wanted to make a present-day Ghostbusters, but this movie never approaches the underlying dry sophistication of that silly classic. There are a few amusing moments in here, thanks to a strong cast that includes Crudup as a suspicious neighbour and Forte as a ridiculous local cop. Although since the lead characters are so idiotic, it's DeWitt who steals the film in her few scenes as Stiller's funny, sexy and feisty wife.
Yes, you know you're in trouble when the most interesting scenes in a sci-fi adventure-comedy involve the sideplots about marriage and parenthood. Once the aliens take over, it's difficult to stay interested. Essentially, this film feels like it was put together by an iPhone app, pasting in random elements that would seemingly guarantee a summer blockbuster. But the plot goes nowhere interesting, as the overwrought special effects swamp all of the characters and leave the story feeling flat and pointless.
Run time: 102 mins
In Theaters: Friday 27th July 2012
Box Office USA: $34.4M
Box Office Worldwide: $34.4M
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox, 21 Laps Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 17%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 128
IMDB: 5.7 / 10
Director: Akiva Schaffer
Starring: Jonah Hill as Franklin, Ben Stiller as Evan, Vince Vaughn as Bob, Richard Ayoade as Jamarcus, Rosemarie DeWitt as Evan's wife, R. Lee Ermey as Manfred, Doug Jones as Hero Alien, Will Forte as Sergeant Bressman, Nicholas Braun as Jason, Johnny Pemberton as Punk Kid, Jorma Taccone as Casual Wanker #2, Justin Wheelon as Kyle, Willam Belli as Olivia, Carissa Capobianco as Mandy, Billy Crudup as Neighbor, Erin Moriarty as Chelsea