Watchmen, the film based on the novel of the same name, is one hell of a movie.
The film, like the book, tells the story of a super-hero world where there's only one that's super and not that many that are heroic. It's an alternate 1985, where America won the Vietnam War thanks to Doctor Manhattan, the only one of the Watchmen with super powers, and where Richard Nixon was elected to a fifth term. Vigilantes are banned, but that doesn't stop the disturbed, and disturbing, Rorschach, a masked crusader who read Ayn Rand and didn't get the joke.
The movie begins with the murder of the Comedian, a former masked hero and US government operative. Rorshach begins investigating that and quickly starts to think there's more than meets the eye, and that someone's out to get the former heroes. Along with his only friend, Nite Owl II, he starts uncovering what might be the largest conspiracy ever.
The film is a visual feast of immense proportions (rather like Doctor Manhattan's penis, which you'll see more of than you wanted). The sights up on the screen, particularly on Mars, are stunning, and the effects are nearly perfect, even the most mundane ones. There's a couple shots that I would've sworn were filmed in New York City (the movie was shot in Vancouver).
The acting is just as good, especially by Jackie Earle Haley was Rorschach. He's got the voice and the manerisms down pat from the comic. The other roles are rounded out just as well, even those that are people impersonating real historical figures (though Nixon's nose was way too long).
As for the script, it was quite good, and though, yes, the ending is changed from the graphic novel, it keeps the overall theme intact and, frankly, works better than the giant squid thingy.
Overall this was a very good movie, though not for everyone. Do yourself a favor and go see it while it is still in theatres, cause it will suffer greatly on the small screen.
All I know about WATCHMEN I learned from the movies. I'd never read the graphic novel…I'd never heard of it, in fact, until buzz about the movie started. So I cannot comment on the faithfulness to the source, or whether it captures the spirit of the original work. So for this novice, WATCHMEN was a big, often entertaining, sometimes tedious mish-mash of straight-forward action film, a tongue-in-cheek spin on the superhero genre and a sometimes interesting … more
Careful what you ask for, you just might get it. I always wanted to see the Watchmen made into a movie. At the same time I knew it would be a train wreck. It had to be. How can you get everything from the graphic novel into one movie? You can't. it's just that simple. Still they tried. Problem is I don't give credit for effort. Only for success. The biggest problem for me is how they changed the ending. … more
I'm a firm believer in that you shouldn't review something if you don't know the full story (or at least the background), like a person who doesn't play video games reviewing a video game movie or criticizing a Sci-fi film because you don't understand something or a better example me reviewing the Watchmen Movie. See i never read the graphic novel so I went into the theater (opening day might I add) expecting a classic Superhero movie, (Spiderman, … more
WARNING: This review may contain spoilers! For the past decade Hollywood has been scrambling over the rights to adapt comic book characters to the big screen. This year one of the most celebrated graphic novels is being brought to theatres in a cinematic adaptation that may very well be the most highly anticipated film of 2009. But can director Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Alan Moore's masterpiece Watchmen satisfy legions of rabid comic book fans and still succeed commercially … more
If there's one thing that I lament about the film-going experience as I get older, it's that I move further and further away from the boy who used to watch movies with unquestioning wide-eyed amazement. When I turned thirteen I started looking at film with a slightly more critical and as the years packed on with an increasingly cynical eye. It's a very rare experience for me to walk into a film without the baggage of 20 odd years of cinema watching experience, comparing … more
I never read the old Watchmen book. Called by many the greatest graphic novel ever and read by millions, I was going to consider reading it after I saw the film maybe catching what they changed and get more insight but now, I think I'll pass. The film is about an alternate 1985 where Nixon has remained in office and the world is constantly facing a doomsday clock where Russia could launch it's weapons in a moments notice. A once proud group of masked crime fighters have … more
Comic book adaptations are all the rage these days and they are a dime-a-dozen. To prepare for the film and to write this review, I re-read the graphic novel so I can give a more detailed viewpoint. "Watchmen" is adapted from the award-winning 12-issue mini-series in the 80's which in turn became a popular graphic novel. The graphic novel was written by Alan Moore (From Hell, V for Vendetta) and illustrated by Dave Gibbons (Green Lantern) and adapted to the big screen by Zack Snyder (300). … more
It's really a mixed bag. A lot of what worked for the graphic novel doesn't translate well to the big screen. But it comes alive enough to keep you entertained, even if it doesn't fully satisfy. A few cheesy liners and a few moments where the movie takes itself a little too seriously is nothing to deter anyone from going to see it. And for what it's worth it's a decent movie. The problem isn't so much the movie, but more that what they had to work with was very complicated. I would say they did … more
Zach Snyder does his best to adapt the "unfilmable" graphic novel magnum opus from Alan Moore, and comes up short from either fans who wanted more, or didn't think it stuck close enough to the source, not to mention the general public who the story went over they're heads due to almost requiring the audience to come in knowing whats going on. Uneven performances and loss of narrative hurt what could have been a pretty good adaption.
The movie was a little bit dark (the superheroes in this parallel universe literally kill their enemies) but I found it entertaining throughout. The movie starts with the murder of The Comedian, a sometimes hero, most times a nasty bully acting as a hero. He was part of a group of masked adventurers called the Watchmen. Most of the Watchmen were retired but they get together at the funeral and each has their memories of the group that go back to the 1940's. There is also … more
There have been numerous attempts to adapt the superlative graphic novel Watchmen, which was written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, into a feature film. The first serious proposal to do so came in the late 1980s and for a long time director Terry Gilliam (director of Brazil and 12 Monkeys) showed interest in making the film. However, after numerous attempts to create a script, Gilliam was quoted as saying that the graphic novel was too complex and too amorphous for even him to adapt. Later acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain) was reported as a possible director, but this never came into fruition. Initially set to direct the film was Paul Greengrass (director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum). However he was sacked during budget disputes at Paramount Studios, who were at the time meant to release the film. Since then Zack Snyder (director of the remake of Dawn of the Dead and of the film adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel 300) has been assigned the role of director and the film has been moved from Paramount to Warner Bros. Studios.
The film was released on March 6 of 2009. On July 21 of 2009 the film was released in both theatrical and director's cut editions on DVD. On November 10 of 2009 the film was released in an Ultimate Edition containing Tales of the Black Freighter animated sequences and linking scenes.