Film Review





Zach Snyder’s Watchmen is an interesting idea for a film, but can never get passed how much information it has to relay to its audience. I’ve never read the graphic novel (which I hear is excellent), but I did see this movie with two people who had. Their insight into how faithful the movie was to the book was very helpful in getting me past all of the details I needed to comprehend in the 155 minutes this movie digressed for.

This stylized reworking of the novel was beautifully done. The scenery, the sound, and the characters were all good fits for a film. It’s not a movie for the squeamish; there is one fight scene where enemies visibly break multiple bones, a jail sequence that was beyond gratuitous, and an unbelievably disturbing sequence involving a comedian. But, this is all adapted from its original idea, which I was able to accept. Snyder is a master of violence, as he showed in 2006’s  300, which makes him seem the right choice for direction. As I say that, there is a serious lack of useful dialogue aside from Rorschach’s (Jackie Earle Haley) play-by-play narrative. 

After doing research prior to seeing this film, it became apparent that this was not a film that was easy to produce. On June 23, 2006, Warner Brothers announced that Snyder would direct this comic book adaptation. On March 6, 2009, Watchmen was released. Directors Terry Gilliam (Brazil, The Brothers Grimm), Paul Greengrass (United 93, Bourne Ultimatum) and Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem For a Dream) have been attached to this film, the graphic novel author Alan Moore has sworn to never see the movie, and the most remarkable statistic, 20th Century Fox bought the rights to the film adaptation in 1986. That’s 23 years ago.

I enjoyed watching this movie as a movie. I haven’t read the graphic novel, and I don’t have any bias against Zach Snyder. It was bloody, sex-filled, vulgar, but expected. A cinematic masterpiece, it was not; it was a fine movie. 

Don’t expect to be enlightened by the desperate attempt to give the plot meaning, because it shouldn’t have meaning. The story is about people who save people, and people who don’t. It’s realism is in the nature that its characters hold. Although, the Watchmen are supposed superheroes, only two of them have actual superpowers. So it seems as if we are supposed to believe them to be brutally violent, but good Samaritans. This is something that you must accept, or else you will not connect with any of the Watchmen. They are all just too grumpy.

Watchmen plays like a disturbing and adult version of Pixar’s The Incredibles, as it’s a story about superheroes that people once counted on, but have since become obsolete. 

I recommend seeing this film, if even just to see how cool the Watchmen really are.




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