I have tried and tried. I have slept on it. I have prayed about it. And, I have spoken with fans. Honestly, I cannot see any way that Watchmen is a good film.
The hype has been astronomical, so much so that I was excited to finally see this Watchmen that everyone keeps talking about, especially Rorschach (played by Jackie Earle Haley).
I wish this film had lived up to its hype. Alas, it has gone the way of Max Payne for me: a lot of hype, true to the original series, but the end result is trite and boring.
Now, I know I’m being harsh, but this movie has sunk itself on its own merit.
Watchmen is about Rorschach’s journey to find out who is trying to kill the Watchmen, a group of superheroes, after the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is murdered. While investigating the murder, Rorschach helps fill the audience in on a little background; but not a lot. Also, Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) and Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman) are having relationship problems.
Screenwriters David Hayter and Alex Tse set out to bring to the screen the comic book series created by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore about superheroes who are anti heroes. The concept alone is interesting.
But the extremes of these superheroes (attempted rape, torture, dismemberment, and the shooting of a pregnant woman) is appalling to the senses. They harm people, but feel that saving a few lives cancels this out. Don’t get me wrong, not all of the Watchmen are damnable, but they have their share.
Director Zack Snyder was trying to go for Dark Knight darkness and wound up with dark and terrible. Watchmen can’t hold a candle to what The Dark Knight did.
Watchmen is dark, depressing, and filled with despair; and not in a good way. It’s not a drama, it’s a replica of a horror film, trying to be an action film with a little film noir mixed in. Only die hard fans can enjoy the filth of this film.
Now, I love Morgan as an actor, but I cannot stand The Comedian. He’s a total jerk, and his death seems to make the world a better place, yet I had to spend two and a half hours trying to understand why he was murdered in the first place.
Yet Morgan is superb and totally out of character as the gun-toting, physical abuser, womanizer that The Comedian is. Morgan usually plays the romantic interest with the heart of gold. In Watchmen, he’s the superhero with a heart of coal.
Kudos to Haley as Rorschach. Haley still looks like a sexual predator, but he has such flair and panache as the hot-headed Rorschach that I couldn’t help but like him. I now see why he’s everyone’s favorite of the Watchmen. He sees through the garbage and is quite real.
Akerman is pretty good. She’s not great, though. I think she gained weight to play the role of the sexy siren, and it looks good on her. Crudup should be commended. He is covered up in a white suit for CGI purposes, and his character is totally naked for most of the film.
I’ve seen more Dr. Manhattan than I had ever expected to see. Yet it is tragic that every time Dr. Manhattan’s, um, member was on screen, audience members laughed.
Patrick Wilson as Night Owl II is pretty likable. He’s my second favorite of the Watchmen. He’s nice, kind, and he knows how to kick butt.
Matthew Goode as Ozymandias, the smartest man in the world, is a little stiff. But he’s always been that way as an actor. And, Carla Gugino as Silk Spectre I is completely against type as the mother of Spectre II and an aging super hero. Gugino is superb as the has-been Spectre.
If you are a person who likes a good plot and doesn’t like to see in-your-face gore, then don’t watch Watchmen.
If you are a fan boy (or girl) who’s into great special effects, great make-up, and lots of blood and guts, then run to see Watchmen and leave the children home.
I, myself, will have to live with the fact that I had to sit through two and a half hours watching this crazy film. I’m just glad I never spent time reading the comic series; which, with the way these things go, is probably way better than the film.