I was not impressed by director Zack Snyder's efforts in "300." While it was a visual feast with impressive special effects, I felt that Snyder used those visuals as a crutch to support a rather dull plot. The actual historical account of the battle at Thermopylae was, to me, a much better story than Snyder's film or Frank Miller's graphic novel.
With that said, I wasn't expecting much from Snyder's "Watchmen." Based on the comic series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, I thought that it would be just another special effects-laden, plotless film. I was quite surprised.
What Snyder has done is take a very good story and give it an excellent treatment on film. From recreating panels with near perfection from the comics and retaining the bulk of the story, Snyder has outdone himself.
The plot of the film revolves around the murder of one superhero, the Comedian, and the attempts of another, Rorshach, to discover the culprit. Rorshach tries to drag other former heroes out of retirement with mixed results at first. Eventually he gets Nite Owl II to help him in his quest. Another pair of heroes, Silk Spectre II and Dr. Manhattan, also become involved, but they primarily struggle with themselves. Silk Spectre is trying to find a reason to stay with Dr. Manhattan despite his becoming increasingly detached from her. Dr. Manhattan has become bored with humanity and also accused of giving cancer to some of his colleagues and spends much of the film in solitude on Mars. Another former hero, the very public Ozymandias, would rather keep his distance on all matters.
As expected, Snyder does provide excellent special effects. In fact, they are some of the best I've seen in the last couple of years. Even the perpetually blue-glowing Dr. Manhattan looks rather convincing on the screen.
Jackie Earle Haley rises above the rest of the cast as Rorshach, the primary catalyst in the film. He keeps the tale interesting throughout. He's a tortured soul intent on finding the murderer of his former ally. Patrick Wilson does an excellent job as the depressed Nite Owl II, who's all but thrown in the towel on being a superhero. He's somewhat like Batman had Bruce Wayne quit hitting the gym and became a homebody. Billy Crudup does a good job as Dr. Manhattan, giving a cold and nearly emotionless performance. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the rather unlikeable Comedian, who appears primarily in flashbacks. He's a disgusting jerk and quite possibly the ultimate anti-hero. Carla Gugino portrays the original Silk Spectre, and shines as a drunken, washed-up former hero.
The only real disappointments in the acting department were Matthew Goode and Malin Akerman. Goode just wasn't believable as the super-intelligent old soul called Ozymandias. His performance was very flat. Still, he wasn't as bad as Malin Akerman, who delivers a wooden and emotionless performance as Silk Spectre II. Akerman comes across as a likeable person in real life, but I felt that she wasn't the right person for this particular role.
Despite the subpar efforts of Goode and Akerman, I felt that "Watchmen" was a very good film. Loyal to the source material, full of tormented characters, and giving the viewer a very unique spin on the mythos of superheroes, I highly recommend "Watchmen." It's a definite purchase for fans of the comic serial and anyone who enjoys an excellent mystery or solid action.
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
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
Not being a big follower of the endless slew of comic book conversions, I was refreshingly surprised with how good this film is. Directed by Zack Snyder, who previously made 300, apparently the movie has been stuck in development hell for years with one director after another bailing out, since the original graphic novel is a rich and complex environment that has a Lord of The Rings unfilmability (though of course, Peter Jackson proved everyone one on that one). There … more
Let's just say that I should have stuck with my gut and not have seen this movie. I knew it was going to be bad and it was. A stupid trailer that was better then the first one made me go see this movie and I dragged other people with me including my fiance who had to be up early the next day. What was so terrible about this movie? For one thing the blue dangling penis that happened to be waving for most of the move. I mean really, it should have had a line in the credits because it was … more
Pros: Wow. Just...whoa. Cons: Not for everyone, definitely. The Bottom Line: A movie that takes time to absorb - even a carload of friends may be silent for a bit on the way home before launching into typical after-movie conversation. I just got home from watching Watchmen. It is currently 12:07 AM. The movie began at 9:00 and ended around 11:45 PM, so be ready for a picture that's long and involved. &nbs … more
Fanboys rejoice! Director Zack Snyder, of "300" fame, has faithfully adapted Alan Moore's acclaimed graphic novel "Watchmen" with intensity, style and passion. The film has a few minor flaws in its narrative, as it crams an epic story into 2 hours and 43 minutes, however the end result will entertain casual moviegoers looking for an action movie with a brain. "Watchmen" revolves around the lives of estranged heroes who have devoted their lives to protecting a world that has … more
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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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.