ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
The Watch ★★★
9.00-11.00pm Film Four
The words “sci-fi comedy” do not augur well. For every Ghost Busters or Galaxy Quest, there’s an Alien Autopsy or a Bicentennial Man. The Watch, co-written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, starts out like a terrestrial social comedy but soon mutates. Concerned citizen Ben Stiller forms a neighbourhood watch group in a small Ohio town and recruits three other losers: Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade. They run over an alien and discover that a full Body Snatchers-style invasion is under way, at which point we bumpily shift gear. The frat-boy humour is beneath its principal cast — the aliens’ brains are literally between their legs — but a showdown in Costco is passably exciting. Thank goodness for the very funny Ayoade.
Fast Girls ★★★
7.05-9.00pm Film Four
Members of a female sprint relay team not only have to overcome their opponents but personal rivalries, too. Being Human’s Lenora Crichlow and Downton’s Lily James are the girls on either side of the class divide.
Dwayne Johnson forgoes flexing his muscles and plays it straight as a concerned father who goes under cover to extract his son from the wrong side of the law. Proof, if any was needed, that there is an actor beneath the big guns.
21 Jump Street ★★★★
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill play fresh-faced cops who stick out like a pair of sore thumbs when they are tasked with going under cover at a high school.
Mel Gibson channels his Lethal Weapon character as a maverick tycoon who takes the law into his own hands when a ruthless criminal kidnaps his son. It’s ludicrous but is still a gripping experience.