*Posted March 15, 2009*
The first big movie event of 2009, and even though I was completely unfamiliar with the graphic novel, the story was very intriguing to me. Watchmen is based in an alternative 1980s and predicated on the notion that masked vigilantes did exist in the 1940s. But fast forward the 80s, and the superhero system is broken. The government used them to win Vietnam (very cool), the public doesn't appreciate them, and they are all in forced retirement now. The story is centered around this group of former partners. We have Night Owl (a Clark Kent/Batman hybrid), Rorschach (by far the coolest of the group), Dr. Manhatten (the only one with superpowers, he can control matter and is pretty much a god), the Comedian, and a couple other losers.
SPOILER ALERT! The Comedian is murdered in the beginning (but you already know this from the trailer), and the rest of the group has to solve the puzzle while wondering if the Cold War will erupt in a nuclear holocaust. Now that the stage is set, here are my quick thoughts on the movie.
-For as long as it is, they tried to cram in so many references into the movie that some scenes lose a lot of dramatic weight. The weird tiger thing? The subplot on Mars? The shocker about Silk Spectre's family? I ended up not caring about any of this because the film gave me no reason.
-The prison sequence was a lot of fun to watch, especially because we get to see Mickey from Seinfeld back on screen. The ending was satisfying and mind blowing, but this was just flat out entertaining.
-Zack Snyder ruined 300, and he damn near ruined this one as well. The soundtrack was distracting and out of place every single time a song played. He just used songs made famous by other movies (Sound of Silence from the Graduate, the helicopter assault score from Apocalypse Now, the Hallelujah song from Shrek, and even 99 Luftballoons from GTA Vice City. What a joke). Also, the slow motion was expectedly excessive and stupid.
-The flashbacks were handled nicely and it set up a lot of important back story. But like LOST season 3, this left little time for establishing present relationships (I don't think Rorschach and the Doc had one scene together until the end.
Final thoughts: One of the more interesting stories in a comic book movie, and the ending rocked. But it didn't make up for the many parts in the middle that had me scratching me my head. Zack Snyder throws as much as he can from the book against the wall, but few things stick.