Hey folks, Valkor here. This past weekend the long awaited Watchmen movie was released unto the comic community and mainstream movie goers, with stunning opening results to the tune of 84 million. Now that’s great for an opening weekend and also the perfect way to get the spring/ summer movie blitz going. However I feel this coming weekend the film may not fare so well, and will see a definite drop in numbers because to me and many alike… The Watchmen… wasn’t all that great.
Seriously, when I stepped out the theater, the reactions I witnessed was split right down the middle and it’s either you loved it or you hated it. I’m actually in the middle; neither, nor. I think Zack Snyder did a wonderful job translating the comic onto the big screen, but it’s almost perfect until the end, it seems he decided “Ok I followed the book this far, let’s put my spin on it” and it just fell flat. But that’s not the only fault, but we’ll get into that later.
It’s the year 1985 and superhero “The Comedian” is murdered, which sets Rorschach on the trail of who’s behind it all. Mind you there was a law passed which makes it illegal for masked heroes to still work. At the same time, The United States looks to be headed towards nuclear war with the Russians. But there’s something more behind it as several events take place that really set things off, including outing Doc Manhattan as giving several of his friend’s cancer and Rorschach is thrown in jail. But why? That’s what the remaining members of Super-group, Night Owl and Miss Jupiter, along with Rorschach and Doc Manhattan must find out before their world is destroyed. Ok my summation isn’t the greatest because there’s so much more that goes on; you’ll wonder how Snyder packed so much from the book into this 3 hour film. But the jist of the story is there without spoiling anything. Because, trust me, it’s a deep, involving it’ll have you locked in your seats till the very end. It’s only until the end that you might feel… unsatisfied?
First, 3/4s of the film is about 80% spot on to the comic. It just feels like Zack Snyder just opened the book, went panel by panel and showcased some of the comic’s finest, most relevant moments. If you haven’t read the comic, then definitely take it for a spin, because there’s just so much more. You’ll be glad you did. The acting is also spot on as every actor was perfectly cast for their role. Of course favorite is Rorschach played by Jackie Earle Hailey and Doc Manhattan done by Billy Crudup. Oh and to Malin Ackerman who plays Laurie Jupiter… NICE ASS!! I’ve seen some sweet asses on screen, and I have to say that’s an ass that needed more screen time. This isn’t a special effects heavy movie, but there are tons of sweet effects such as Jon’s Mars ship… thing, Rorschach’s mask (Its sick!) and Archie, The Night Owl’s ship. Loved it! Finally running time is about 3 hours, but you never really feel it, because you’d swear it was less.
First and foremost is the music. While I would agree that each song fits each scene, I didn’t care for the fact that we’re dealing with a movie that takes place in the 80’s but no showcase of the music in that era. No Huey Lewis? No Cyndi Lauper? A-ha? Billy Joel? Wham? Eurythmics? Nothing? Oh we get 99 Luft Balloons and some Tears for Fears muzak, but come on man! It’s the 80’s; give us some 80’s love! Second is the ending, which includes the death of the newsstand owner and the kid. (this is where my distaste of the film really kicks in). OK for those that didn’t read the comic, this old guy runs a news stand and this kid comes to his stand everyday, reading a book called “The Black Freighters” (or something along those lines) and it’s through the news guy that we get a glimpse of what’s going on around the world as he’s either commenting about it to the kid or to people stopping by his stand. They’re in the film, but briefly and only if you read the comic do you understand their significance. However, since Snyder changed the ending, it changes their importance to the story, which is to say they have no role in the story other than fan service. So what could have been a great, heartfelt ending, well he just blew it away… literally. The pacing could have been tightened in a few places such as the opening fight scene/death of the Comedian. Actually the opening montage, as cool as it was, could have also been shortened. Finally, and maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve read the book already, but it just seems too predictable whose behind all the commotion from the very start.
Because there’s absolutely nothing ugly about the film, however I believe in equality. As much as there was Doc Manhattan penis floppin about, there should have been more Laurie Jupiter's ass. Or more boobs!
Watchmen is the kind of film that from the ads you’ll want to dive right in. But when you see what ultimately awaits you, you’ll wanna turn you’re back on it. Maybe. I think people who aren’t too familiar with the comic will walk away not liking it, while a huge majority of comic fans will love it. Oh don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad film and by all means check it out! It’s not like Spider-Man 3 which was a god awful, rushed piece of schmit. This is a film that started out well executed and shows how to adapt a comic from page to screen. It just ends on teh suck. There’s talk of a director’s cut, and if that is the case I’ll definitely give the film another go. But until then I’m giving watchmen 2.5 stars and I await with high hopes that there is a director’s cut and that it makes me ultimately love this film.